During the long, dark year that was 2020, like most, Kerik was looking for things to fill his time and explore new avenues of artistic expression. During this time, Kerik saw an image posted online by his friend Chris Jordan, a photographer, film maker and writer currently living in Patagonia. The image was a mandala created from a photograph of a tree. It blew Kerik’s mind. At that time, he was working on a series of aerial photographs looking straight down on the Earth titled “Remote Sensing”. These were the perfect starting point using the techniques Chris showed him to make mandalas. Kerik was also inspired by the amazing still and video mandala work of Kate Q. Sibole; it was as if someone turned on a fire hose. He began digging deep into the archives of his work translating image after image into mandalas. After moving to the Central Coast in April 2021, he has also been creating mandalas of new work from what is to him, new territory. He admits he is not sure where the journey is going, but he’s enjoying the ride as he continues to experiment and turn the endless dials in Photoshop to see what is revealed.
Not only a welcome distraction from the world’s problems, this process also gives Kerik a reason to revisit and breathe new life into older work and to see the world in a new way as he creates new work.
BIO: Kerik Kouklis is a fine art and documentary photographer and film maker who moved to California’s Central Coast in early 2021 after living in the Sierra foothills for 31 years. Kerik has been involved in creating hand-made photographs since his father set up a darkroom in the basement when he was 12. Born and raised in California with a background in music and geology, Kerik combines a contemporary eye with 19th, 20th and 21st Century processes to produce work that is uniquely his own. He has used these processes to create his work since 1990 and has been teaching workshops in these processes since 1997, both in his home studio and at various locations around the US, Canada and the UK. In 2017 Kerik began working in color by combining inkjet pigments with palladium printing. These prints are reminiscent of hand-colored photographs from the late 1800’s. In 2019 Kerik learned the very first photographic process, the daguerreotype. He is still honing his skills in this difficult but uniquely beautiful process. Kerik’s work is currently represented in California by Oficino Uno in Carmel and the Ansel Adams Gallery in Yosemite where he has been teaching hand-made photographic techniques since 2000. During the Corona virus pandemic and lockdown, Kerik became obsessed with mandalas and began turning his photographs into mandalas.
In recent years Kerik’s travels have taken him to Iceland, Scotland, Norway, the Galapagos, Mongolia and Japan. He has adopted the use of a drone to make aerial photographs on his travels, where permitted. In 2016 Kerik was awarded a two-week Artist in Residency in Yosemite National Park by Yosemite Renaissance. In 2017 Kerik completed his first documentary short film “Mongolia in Winter”. He is currently working on a documentary film about an Antarctic expedition that occurred in 1958 and another about a young doctor’s experience during the pandemic. His prints are held in private and corporate collections in North America and Europe as well as the Museum of Fine Art, Houston and the Hoyt Institute of Fine Arts, Newcastle, Pennsylvania. In 2019 Kerik became the President of the Board of Directors for the Viewpoint Photographic Art Center in Sacramento, California.