09 March 2010

Paul Fontana's Eye Of The Beholder thru March 28th


I see opportunities for photographs constantly.  The minutia of daily life are filled light and shadow, textures and color or the lack of it.

I've often wished for a bionic eye, which would photograph what i'm seeing with a single blink.  My interest in taking pictures of eyes began with photographing my own.  I took part in a photo project called 365 days, in which I had to take a self portrait every day for a year.  Often, the reflection of my own eye was the subject of the daily shot.  The project increased my interest in many aspects of the human face, but none as much as the eye.
I began experimenting with photographic image transfers onto wood after reading online about the transfer properties of acrylic gel media.  Getting a consistently professional outcome proved to be a challenge, but after many trials and errors, I can usually count on being successful with most attempts.  What intrigued me about the process, was that after the paper backing of the photograph was removed, the remaining image layer was so thin as to allow the grain of the wood to show through and become part of the original image.  Though much of the in-between work is repetitious and tedious, the preparing of the photograph and the finished product are most rewarding.


Paul Fontana was born in New York City and lived there until his teen years. He made his way to 23 acres of wooded heaven in Cohutta, Georgia by way south Florida.

He honed his photographic skills as a U.S.N. Photographer’s Mate aboard 2 different aircraft carriers, photographing mostly mundane images of shipboard life with the occasional significantly important events: the Gemini-V recovery being the most notable.

Many decades passed before Paul’s love of photography would give way to painting. After retiring from teaching he has the luxury of balancing his time between the two.


Eye of the Beholder consists of image transfers on wood or canvas.  A combination of digital art and straightforward photography is arranged to focus, so to speak, on that most miraculous organ, the eye.  The show is composed of small, single pieces or multiple arrangements on wood and canvas pulled over stretcher bars or blocks of wood and, at times, burnished with acrylic pigment, which adds additional texture.

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