Today we’d like to introduce you to Barry Vangrov.
Barry, we’d love to hear your story and how you got to where you are today both personally and as an artist.
I’m a completely self-taught photographer. I can’t remember exactly what started my interest but I began taking photographs in college in Arizona. Coming from the Midwest I was fascinated by the desert and started photographing the strange landscape. This was in the 1970’s—well before the digital camera revolution—when processing and printing color film was difficult and expensive, so I photographed in black and white and that began my interest in seeing and photographing the world through a black and white lens.
I spent many of my childhood summers at a rustic camp in the north woods of Wisconsin learning to love nature and the outdoors, so it was natural for me to focus my photography on the natural world. That’s where I draw my inspiration.
For many years my day job in the hotel development industry provided great opportunities to travel all around the country. I always brought my camera and found time to explore the outdoors wherever I happened to be. So, combining a love of the outdoors with my passion for travel, photography was my reason to get out into nature hiking and exploring. When hotel construction crashed after the 2008 financial crisis, I used it as an excuse to make photography my full-time profession as well as avocation. I started an architectural and artwork photography business and began to really focus on improving my artistic skills, learning the new world of digital cameras and printing. I began showing the new work at art festivals and for the next few years I did 10-12 art festivals a year. Now I concentrate mainly on galleries and exhibitions.
We’d love to hear more about your art. What do you do you do and why and what do you hope others will take away from your work?
I am a landscape photographer working mostly in black and white, although occasionally a subject demand to be portrayed in color. I’m most often described as a disciple of Ansel Adams—probably because he’s the one photographer whose name everyone seems to know—but there are many other photographers who influenced my work just as much, especially the classic black and white photographers like Edward and Brett Weston, Paul Strand and Harry Callahan.
If I were to condense my artistic vision to just a short statement, it would be: exploring form and texture in the natural world. Void of color the world is reduced to its essence of form and structure. My black and white images are an exploration of this monochromatic world of patterns, shapes, textures and tones. I am particularly drawn to exploring the environment for naturally occurring geometric patterns and to capturing the myriad different textures found in nature, both tactile—hard, soft, rough, smooth, sharp, grainy, and visual—translucent, misty, foggy, wispy.
My occasional color work—in addition to exploring form and texture—uses color itself as the essence of the image. The colors being as or even more important than the actual subject matter of the photograph.
With the advent of digital image processing programs and commercial photo printers and the popularity of posting pictures on social media, the art of making an actual photographic print has become less important and fewer photographers seem to take the time and make the effort to learn the craft. But for me if a photograph is intended as a work of art it’s not complete until it’s been made as a photographic print by the photographer.
How can artists connect with other artists?
Joining an artist co-op or a membership gallery— such as the APG Gallery for photographers or the Atlanta Artist Center for painters is a good way to enjoy the comradery of other artists as well as receive feedback on your work and have an opportunity to exhibit
Do you have any events or exhibitions coming up? Where would one go to see more of your work? How can people support you and your artwork?
I’m currently represented at North Park Gallery located on Marietta Square. I also exhibit occasionally in group shows at local photography galleries. And, of course, all of my work is up on my website.
- Website: www.BarryVangrovPhotography.com
- Phone: 7703314548
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: www.instagram.com/bvangrov
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/barryvangrovphotography