Viewpoint Photographic Art Center is pleased to present the “Intentional Photographs” of Gene Crowe in an exhibit called Small Things, in the Step Up Gallery.
Crowe been working with digital images that he calls Small Things: found objects, macro images, still life, parts, and the manipulation of light on different surfaces. This project actually began in the early 1960’s when he began exploring extremely close focusing. He has been developing skills with different cameras and printing methods ever since.
“My work should stand on its own,” Crowe says, “without captions or explanations. Those devices serve only to limit the viewer’s contribution to the work. There is a challenge in composing the image so the photograph is a whole, not a collection of unintended parts.”
Crowe was about 11 when he first watched his Uncle Steve make magic in his darkroom. He can still smell those chemicals and marvel at the sight of the first print coming up in the developer. That magic never ceases for him. For the rest of his life, his uncle continued to teach him and influence his work. “My Uncle Steve was part of the group of amazing photographers who attended the California School of Fine Arts after World War II.”
Other influences on Crowe’s work have been Jack Welpott, Don Worth, Roger Vail, and the work of painters Frank Stella, Clyfford Still, Franz Kline, Mark Rothko, and Charles Sheeler.
Crowe was born in San Francisco and grew up in Marin County. He moved to Nevada County in 1964 and enjoyed 31 years of teaching art and photography at Nevada Union High School. He has taught photography at Sierra College since fall 1979.