David Rabkin

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David Rabkin

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        Images  •  Presentation 

The Works
The Heart of the Matter aims to reveal essences, generally of  places, but sometimes of concepts, too. The pieces are also experiments in the development and use of an evolving set of techniques. All use digital photographs as their starting point.  And although I may use many other techniques, what’s common to all is the use of composite images and blur.

The use of blur is core to my method. It deprives us of the the visual detail and sharpness that our eyes crave and thus draws us in.  It also damps down distractions, allowing what’s truly essential to emerge, gently yet with force.

Using composite images allows me to explore contrast and complementarity, tension and release, oneness and  separateness.

While I envision these images quite large, even architectural in scale, I have learned that they are remarkably powerful when small. When a viewer is too close (or an image too large), the panels dominate while the backgrounds fade almost into non-existence. With distance, though, the backgrounds come alive, resolving into the landscapes they are and asserting their roles in the composition. With distance, too, the interplay between the panels is heightened. As a result, a large image placed in a medium-sized room may lack impact where a far smaller piece similarly located would truly sing. My feeling is that with a piece that’s 24″ across, it’s best to make sure that viewers naturally stand 10 or 15 feet away.  You’ll want to to take a close look, bute even a piece of only 8″x11″ will come alive when viewed from a distance of at least 7 or 8 feet.

These images are meant to be physical objects, printed rather than presented on a monitor. I like to print on a creamy matte paper so the works have a dreamy quality almost like silkscreens rather than photographs.  I do find that some demand the greater contrast and intensity of traditional photographic paper.  In addition, I try to avoid anything coming between the viewer and the image, I rarely use glass or acrylic, and I appreciate that the photographic papers are quite tough compared to the matte papers, which are easy to scuff.  At this point, I’m printing exclusively on Hahnemühle papers and using their sprays for UV protection.

The Works
The Heart of the Matter aims to reveal essences, generally of  places, but sometimes of concepts, too. The pieces are also experiments in the development and use of an evolving set of techniques. All use digital photographs as their starting point.  And although I may use many other techniques, what’s common to all is the use of composite images and blur.

The use of blur is core to my method. It deprives us of the the visual detail and sharpness that our eyes crave and thus draws us in.  It also damps down distractions, allowing what’s truly essential to emerge, gently yet with force.

Using composite images allows me to explore contrast and complementarity, tension and release, oneness and  separateness.

While I envision these images quite large, even architectural in scale, I have learned that they are remarkably powerful when small. When a viewer is too close (or an image too large), the panels dominate while the backgrounds fade almost into non-existence. With distance, though, the backgrounds come alive, resolving into the landscapes they are and asserting their roles in the composition. With distance, too, the interplay between the panels is heightened. As a result, a large image placed in a medium-sized room may lack impact where a far smaller piece similarly located would truly sing. My feeling is that with a piece that’s 24″ across, it’s best to make sure that viewers naturally stand 10 or 15 feet away.  You’ll want to to take a close look, bute even a piece of only 8″x11″ will come alive when viewed from a distance of at least 7 or 8 feet.

These images are meant to be physical objects, printed rather than presented on a monitor. I like to print on a creamy matte paper so the works have a dreamy quality almost like silkscreens rather than photographs.  I do find that some demand the greater contrast and intensity of traditional photographic paper.  In addition, I try to avoid anything coming between the viewer and the image, I rarely use glass or acrylic, and I appreciate that the photographic papers are quite tough compared to the matte papers, which are easy to scuff.  At this point, I’m printing exclusively on Hahnemühle papers and using their sprays for UV protection.

Selected Images

(Any color-band imperfections seen in these images is due to browser- or display-related limitations.)

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