Free and open to the public
Ralls Hall, Room 202
San Francisco-based artist John Chiara (MFA 2004) pushes the boundaries of the photographic medium through his choice of process and the mastery of its possibilities.
His approach is distinguished by its incredible physicality and recalls the early days of the medium when artists dealt with heavy, awkward equipment and endured long exposure and development times.
Chiara’s giant cameras, which he designed and built himself, are transported to locations on a flatbed trailer to produce one-of-a-kind, large-scale prints. The design of the cameras, which is much like daguerreotype box cameras, allows the artist to simultaneously shoot and perform his darkroom work while images are recorded directly onto oversized photosensitive paper (not film).
This process, which Chiara first discovered as a student in 1999, invites anomalies in his final prints and adds to the mystery and lyricism of his pictures.
Chiara's photography has been widely exhibited in group and solo exhibitions nationally and abroad and collected by institutions such as J. Paul Getty Museum (Los Angeles); Haggerty Museum of Art (Milwaukee); the Museum of Photographic Arts (San Diego); National Gallery of Art (Washington DC); the Pilara Foundation, Pier 24 Photography (San Francisco), and the San Jose Museum of Art.
Chiara was an artist in residence at Crown Point Press in San Francisco during 2006 and the Marin Headlands Center for the Arts in 2010.