Von Lintel Gallery | Los Angeles

Von Lintel Gallery is pleased to present its second solo exhibition of unique photographs by Christopher Russell.

The following is a statement by Christopher Russell:


Photography is dead.

By this I mean that technology has moved beyond its earliest foundations; it asks a different set of questions than traditionally associated with the medium. The history of chemical photography is largely about a faithful recording of shapes and tones. It is a medium that made the private public, captured the beauty of ephemeral objects and transient juxtapositions. Chemical photography captured the aesthetics of human emotion and voyeuristic fragments for us to puzzle into an understanding about other people and places. And it did so with such detail that, culturally, we mistook our impressions of the image for a grander sort of truth.

With the prominence of digital image making, the foundation of photography has shifted. Digital imaging is built for complete image malleability, the ability to easily present collage with the fidelity of traditional photography. One can, in a few seconds, customize the color of a single pixel—something that would have been impossible with chemical processes. As most people now have photo editing tools on their phones, there is no longer a belief that the captured image is anything more than a record of personalized fictions.

Given this realization, I stopped trying to make pictures of things. I intentionally manipulate the light as it enters the lens of my camera, creating fuzzy, atmospheric images that subvert the indexical quality of the photograph. I then scratch into the surface of my prints, crossing photography’s biggest taboo, marring the print surface and piercing the medium’s illusionistic veil. This way of working asserts the inherent Romanticism of digital production and uses the captured image as a starting point for more complicated thoughts that come from observing the world around me.

Long live photography


Russell was born in Sacramento in 1974. He has exhibited at the Hammer Museum and selected group exhibitions include presentations at The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Norton Museum of Art in Palm Beach, FL, Tokyo Institute of Photography, and the De Appel Arts Center in the Netherlands. His work is included in the permanent collections of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the Brooklyn Museum, and the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography amongst others. The artist lives and works in the Pacific Northwest.



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