Viewpoint is pleased to present a retrospective of internationally renowned photographer, Kerik Kouklis, featuring his hand-made images which he has created over the past 25 years. The work is provocative, stunning, and inventive.
Kerik Kouklis is a fine art photographer who 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 30 years as an environmental geologist under his belt, Kerik combines a contemporary eye with 19th century processes to produce work that is uniquely his own. Working in a variety of formats from small digital cameras to large view cameras, Kerik uses both film and digital negatives to create his prints. He is known as a skilled practitioner and teacher of the platinum/palladium and the combined gum-platinum processes.
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 in Placerville, California and at various locations around the US, Canada, and the UK. In 2004 Kerik began working with the wet plate collodion process which brought a new series of portraits and still-life images into his portfolio. These images are one-of-a-kind, made in-camera on aluminum or glass.
In August 2015 Kerik and a small group of photographers from the Ansel Adams Gallery spent two weeks in Northern Mongolia photographing in the Lake Khovsgol region. Images from that trip will be used to promote preservation of this delicate and valuable natural resource.
Kerik’s work is currently represented by Oficino Uno in Carmel and the Ansel Adams Gallery in Yosemite where he has been teaching hand-made photographic techniques since 2000. 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. His web site is www.kerik.com.
My intent is to deliver a message, a mood, a thought, or an emotion in a photograph. The image is the starting place, and printmaking is the language. I make my prints in my own darkroom using hands-on processes — wet plate collodion, platinum/palladium and gum bichromate. These experience-based processes allow me to shape the way an image is interpreted – and they bring me the satisfaction of creating something with my own hands. To me, that physical connection between maker and object confers value on both.
I photograph the elements around me that I love, or find beautiful, or fascinating. From the beginning, the Land has been my primary subject. Over time, friends and family have also found their way in front of my lens, often as characters transformed into different versions of themselves. And in recent years, I’ve been drawn as well to create still lives of strange objects that present themselves as specimens, or as artifacts of some odd scientific study.
In the end, my one question to those who view my work would be: How does it make you feel?
Kerik Kouklis — Molly
Kerik Kouklis — Rancho Seco
Kerik Kouklis — Tunnel View, Yosemite
Kerik Kouklis — Pond near Shingle Springs