BRUCE CHECEFSKY Statement

GARDEN SCANS

To create the images in the GARDEN SERIES, I customized an Epson optical scanner by stripping the device to its bare essentials and mounting it to a tripod. Powered by a lengthy extension cord and connected to a laptop computer, I carry the modified scanner and a laptop computer into my garden and ‘take pictures’ of the floral. I effectively ‘scan’ my garden, repurposing the scanner as a field camera. These images might initially appear to be traditional botanical scenes, until one notices the occasional scanning glitch—a miniscule patch of neon color, a peculiar blur which hints at its origins. The resulting lushly colored images make one think of 17Th Century Dutch painting and camera obscura effects in the work of Vermeer.

The horizontal exposures of the scanner suggest the pan of a film or video as it captures its surroundings from a continuously shifting vantage point. The digital code of the resulting image, a sequence of random numbers, for example, suggest a theoretical position for translation of the object into image, where the point of view is never fixed like watching a picture in the round.  The scanning glitch or “blur” in the picture is a result of the scanner arm grabbing hold of the flower and moving it while at the same time recording. This blur suggests an “utterance” of technology in dialogue with the natural world.

My choice of materials is ordinary flowers and plants; I plant a garden each year based on a flowers color and texture in relationship to other flowers in the garden. My garden is a composition in itself, and reflects my deep interest Floriculture. I select an image from dozens of scans. I do not use Photoshop or any other image enhancing computer program to alter the image. Color combinations are a result of the particular day I scan my garden, with hues of blue appearing in the morning light and yellow or orange in the later afternoon. 

BRUCE CHECEFSKY received a MFA in Photography from Cranbrook Academy of Art. He also studied at the International Center of Photography in New York City. In 2009, Checefsky was awarded a Creative Workforce Fellowship from the Community Partnership for Arts and Culture. He is also the recipient of a Baker Nord Center for the Humanities Fellowship. In 2007, 2013, and 2017, he received Ohio Arts Council Individual Artist Excellence Awards. A four-­‐time recipient of CEC Artslink International Fellowships, Checefsky has travelled to Warsaw, Poland; St. Petersburg, Russia; Sofia, Bulgaria; and Budapest, Hungary, among other countries.

Checefsky’s works are in the collections of The Museum of Modern Art, Whitney Museum of American Art, Akron Museum of Art, Brooklyn Museum of Art, Museum of Modern Art Japan, The Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Cleveland Museum of Art, The Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum, Museum of Photographic Arts San Diego, Allen Memorial Art Museum Oberlin, Dealer Tire Corporation, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Progressive Insurance, Rigid Tool Company, among other museums and private/corporate collections.