When: Dec 1, 2020 07:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
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Rod Faulds is a seasoned museum professional, educator and artist. As an undergraduate he studied photography and printmaking. He holds an MA in Exhibition Design and a Certificate in Museum Studies from California State University, Fullerton. He is Director, University Galleries at Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton. Prior to coming to Florida for the position at FAU he worked in upper administrative and design positions at the Williams College Museum of Art and two New York City museums, the Guggenheim Museum and The Brooklyn Museum. At FAU Faulds has employed this experience to produce innovative exhibitions often engaging outside curators and has also taught "Museum Studies and Galleries Practices" and "BFA Senior Seminar" courses.
Beginning in 2009 after a 30-year hiatus from image-making Faulds began to employ digital photography to create abstract works caught somewhere between photography and painting. Initially these photo-based art works blended hundreds of photographic images into gridded patterns of light and color. More recently fewer images are combined, collaged and montaged to create bold images that conflate figuration and abstraction.
Faulds began exhibiting his work in a 2009 FAU "Biennial Faculty Art Exhibition" and has continued to show new work in that context every other year. In 2013 he began exhibiting more widely including the Paducah (Kentucky) School of Art's National Photography Invitational. In 2014 his work was featured in a one-person exhibition curated by Jane Hart at the Hollywood Art and Culture Center, Hollywood, Florida. In 2016 he was included in “Photography Invitational” at Palm Beach State College Art Gallery on the Eissey campus. Faulds’ work has been featured in two group exhibitions at the Cultural Council of Palm Beach County - “Something From Nothing” (2016), and “Modern Love” (2019) - both curated by Nicole Hickey. He and Isabel Gouveia collaborated on a two person show for FAU’s Theater Lab Gallery in 2018. He created his first installation for his photo-based works for the 2019 group exhibition at the Arts Warehouse in Delray Beach “Polyopia” that was curated by Giannina Dwin.
For several years I have been creating photo-based images that are an amalgam of found imagery – common stuff I encounter in my daily life and travels. The images I “collect” are combined and constructed or formally designed into abstract compositions made from extremely pedestrian and certainly unromantic images. The images/prints that result retain a strong photographic syntax but can also read as painterly abstractions especially before viewers get close enough to discern their photographic light qualities, descriptive details and how they play with and downplay perspectival illusion. Like a good deal of abstract painting the works also operate in a shallow perceptual space based on how the photographic images are originally framed as close camera vantage points or fields, the use of repetition, and finally the structuring of multiple images through obvious grids or gridded ”filters.”
Employing shallow space, mundane subject matter and bold color palettes are strategies for making abstract images that modulate if not transform photo images through the use of digital tools – cameras and computers and the employment of design software. None of this is unique to my work, but rather relates to tendencies operating among many other artists making photo-based abstractions by exploiting a combination of photography’s innate qualities moderated and sometimes altering photographic images through digital tools. For me, as well as many other contemporary photo-based artists, these tools are not used to fool the eye or hide something, but rather these digital tools are used to pose questions about perception, photography and the tools themselves.
In the same way that I record and then modulate images that are innately, or become abstract, In a recent exhibition and as I go forward I intend to design “displays” for the images that are unconventional, relative to the “white box” gallery, but more importantly create a distinct environment or background that invites and questions design and decoration – both in the images and the display environment.
Design, and especially decoration, more often than not are segregated from the realm of discursive contemporary art. Conversely abstraction holds a special place in modern art history for among other things its spiritual allusions, its embrace of alternative realities and its representation of aesthetic freedom. Hopefully viewers of the previous and foregoing installations I create will discern or feel these disjunctions.