The Brian Taylor is a famous alternative photographic artist. His most famous photograph is ‘The art of getting lost’. He used Gum Bichromate and Cyanotype printing process to produce this photograph (Persinger 2014). This alternative process creates a sense of tactile that by making the photographs by hand. This alternative practice allows the artists to get back to the pure analog world from the saturated digital world. Such alternative processes like palladium prints, Van Dyke Brown, wet collodions and daguerreotypes have brought a new direction to the photography realm. The new era has been experiencing resurgence in photographic practice and Brian Taylor is one of the significant alternative art practitioners. He successfully engages in creating a montage of 21st century and 19th century processes in order to develop innovative images of handmade quality (Briantaylorphotography.com 2017). He mainly uses Photoshop or other such modern imaging medium and historical process like gum printing in the creation process. He creates the negative with Epson printer and exposes the light sensitive materials to the sunlight.
‘The art of getting lost’ is built upon several layers of emulsions which are brush applied. The alternative artists are working to reestablish the aura in their arts. They believe the aura had been lost by the coming of digital era. However, artists like Brian Taylor believes that the new technologies can be used with the combination of original techniques are capable of bringing back the aura. The aura is based upon the tactile quality and the resonance of personal touch that these alternative photographs of digital era offer (Robinson and Art 2015). The artist treats the print as the canvas or a piece of white paper on which the image will be created or developed. Then he coated the print with Cyanotype emulsion. The paper is created by contact printed negative which has been exposed to the sunlight for long time. The development turns the image in Prussian blue. Then again he coated the print with gouache pigment containing Gum solution (Anderson 2016). Then again it is exposed in the sunlight; this second exposure gets registered on the blue surface and brings a natural greenish tone. Then the third and fourth exposure for several days developed the final archival looking photograph.
Brian Taylor was born in the land of Sonora desert and magical tales. He claims that the natural beauty of his birth place inspired him to use the bichromate landscapes (Taylor 2014). All the best art works of the world are created by human hand and this realization led him to choose the handmade techniques. The hunger for creating something haptic never changed even though his aesthetics changed over time. The texture with all its imperfections and flaws make the photographs almost alive. His search for eternal peace and tranquility has been portrayed in the wild landscapes of his ‘The art of getting lost’. The relationship of human and nature is explored with the combination of primitive and modern. The tactile pleasure of making a photograph by hand makes the alternative photographic process so unique and appealing
Anderson, C.Z., 2016. Gum Printing: A Step-by-Step Manual, Highlighting Artists and Their Creative Practice. Routledge.
Brian, T., 2014. The Art of Getting Lost. Photography beyond techniques.
Briantaylorphotography.com. (2017). The Art of Getting Lost : Brian Taylor. [online] Available at: https://www.briantaylorphotography.com/index.php?/projects/art-of-getting-lost/ [Accessed 14 Aug. 2017].
Persinger, T. ed., 2014. Photography Beyond Technique: Essays from F295 on the Informed Use of Alternative and Historical Photographic Processes. CRC Press.
Robinson, A. and Art, F., 2015. A Critical Study into the Authenticity, Democracy and Nostalgia of Contemporary Photography in the Digital Age. Loughborough University.