In Stu Levy’s Grid-Portraits, several negatives are contact-printed in a grid arrangement to create “a space and time scan,” function both as environmental portraiture and as explorations of how we perceive complex imagery. Referring to the phrase Henri Cartier-Bresson famously used to characterize his photographic ideal, Levy states, “this work gives a new meaning to ‘The Decisive Moment’, for the lattice-window view presents a maze of scrambled time and recombinant architecture.”
“Perception involves the visual synthesis of incremental spaces at finite points of time,” Levy explains. “These photographs of artists and craftspeople explore and challenge our perceptive processes by testing the limits of discontinuity, in both space and time, which our brains will accept in reading an image.”
As compositional elements the Grid-Portraits often include “the photographer as voyeur” as well as “material artifacts involved in making the photograph” such as Polaroid photographs. For Levy, “this self-referential element further emphasizes the act of perceiving, and in addition attests to the collaborative relationship between the photographer, his subject, and the objects in their environments.”
A monograph of Grid-Portraits was published by Nazraeli Press in 2010.
Stu Levy was born in Cincinatti. After his college rock band failed to make it big, he went on to med school, becoming a physician and practicing family medicine in Portland, Oregon, where he has resided since 1974. But photography has remained a passion since high school, and since the 1980s his black-and-white photography has been widely exhibited, published, and collected. He is also a popular workshop instructor, most notably co-instructing the annual Shore Acres Workshop on the Oregon coast with Don Kirby since 1984. Among his influences he lists Minor White, Ansel Adams, Josef Sudek, numerous photographer-friends, the spiritual teachers Ram Dass and Carlos Castaneda, jazz and the Grateful Dead. His website is stulevyphoto.com.
Stu Levy: Artist's Proof and Consequences
Stu Levy: 120 Degrees in the Shade (Choprock Amphitheater)
Stu Levy: The No-Bull Captain Ferricyanide Rides Again (Jay Dusard)
Stu Levy: Honk If You Love Stieglitz (Jerry Uelsmann)
Stu Levy: Re:Expose Yourself to Art (Mayor Bud Clark)