Tag Archives: Nick Marshall

Inside the Artist’s Studio with Nick Marshall: Living with Photographs

Photo studio

Photo studio

Hi, my name is Nick Marshall. My work is currently on view in the exhibition Perception of Time at Main Street Arts. Here is a glimpse into my practice as an artist.

I grew up in Canton, Ohio. I received my B.F.A. from Columbus College of Art and Design and my M.F.A. from Rochester Institute of Technology. I have taught photography related courses at Alfred University, RIT, and Visual Studies Workshop. Since 2013, I have been the Manager of Exhibitions and Programs at George Eastman Museum.

There were three important experiences I had with art in my formative years that shaped my practice as an artist.

1) In high school I was introduced to Robert Rauschenberg’s work and it changed my understanding of what materials could be used. (Anything)

2) In grad school I unknowingly walked into a James Turrell installation at the Albright Knox Art Gallery and it altered my understanding of how art can be experienced. (Physical)

3) In 2009 I saw an exhibition of Paul Graham’s A Shimmer of Possibility and it changed my understanding of how photograph’s can shift perspective. (Time)

 

From Then Until Now (I), 2009, chromogenic development print, 24x18"

From Then Until Now (I), 2009, chromogenic development print, 24×18″

My first love was painting but in undergrad I gravitated toward photography. The process of being in the darkroom and the chance for the unknown was appealing to me. In grad school I became interested in the chemical and cultural histories of photography which lead to my work with vernacular imagery. My series From Then Until Now examined the snapshot as an object that “lives” with us. It’s bends, folds, and tears tell of a tactile history while it’s chemical properties are altered due to the conditions it’s exposed to.

I have continued these investigations into the amateur and consumer aspects of photography for the past 10 years.  I’m interested in the way we live with photographs — from shoeboxes and mass-produced picture frames to touch screens and Instagram. How does the way we interact with photographs affect our memory?

Future Nostalgia, 2018-2019, gelatin silver print, 14x11" (installation view)

Future Nostalgia, 2018-2019, gelatin silver print, 14×11″ (installation view)

Collecting is an important part of my practice. I have boxes full of thrift store picture frames, lottery tickets that have already been scratched off, dead pens, and hand-written driving directions. I’m perpetually drawn to discarded or obsolete objects that carry very little monetary value but have the potential to tell stories.

Found picture frame

Found picture frame

Insert Photo Here (I), 2014-ongoing, chromogenic development print, 24x18"

Insert Photo Here (I), 2014-ongoing, chromogenic development print, 24×18″

Insert Photo Here (II), 2014-ongoing, chromogenic development print, 24x18"

Insert Photo Here (IV), 2014-ongoing, chromogenic development print, 24×18″

My work has always heavily focused on material and the physicality of objects so once I am in my studio, it’s important to touch the things around me — to become familiar with them, put them next to other things, see how they interact, break them down or destroy them. What’s inside? What’s underneath? How is this used? How isn’t it used?

In the studio with Dale

In the studio with Dale (cat on chair)

Photoshop Tools (Eraser), 2018, inkjet print, 24x18"

Photoshop Tools (Eraser), 2018, inkjet print, 24×18″

Every day I am essentially surrounded by the history of photography while at work. I see this time as a part of my practice that informs and influences the projects I take on. For instance, after exhibiting Anna Atkins’s 19th century botanical studies, I started to think about what a contemporary study would look like.

Botanical Study (I), 2016, chromogenic development print with LED panel, 12x7"

Botanical Study (I), 2016, chromogenic development print with LED panel, 12×7″

Unintentionally, the flatbed scanner has become one of my favorite tools in the studio. I was drawn to it’s relationship to photograms and to its ability to alter perception through depth of field and surface.

Touching Photographs (III), 2018, acrylic face mounted chromogenic development print, 13x9"

Touching Photographs (III), 2018, acrylic face mounted chromogenic development print, 13×9″

I hope you have a chance to stop by the exhibition before it closes. My work from Touching Photographs and Future Nostalgia will be on view until February 15.

My new website will be published soon but until then you can find me at marshallnick on Instagram.


Nick Marshall is one of seven artists featured in the exhibition Perception of Time at Main Street Arts. The exhibition can be previewed on the gallery’s Artsy page. Perception of Time runs through February 15, 2019.

Inside the Artist’s Studio with Nick Marshall

Hi everyone, my name is Nick Marshall. My recent work, _e_scapes,  is included in Main Street Art’s exhibition “Ink and Paper” and this post will hopefully give you a little more insight to my practice.

_e_scapes started with a series of photographs I made in 2012-13. The images depict found snapshots of seaside vacations that are floating in a chromatic pool of color sampled from the air or water in the vernacular images via the eye dropper tool.

_e_scape

_e_scape

_e_scapes

_e_scape

Shortly after making the photographs I started on a series of paintings that would eventually be exhibited under the same title and hang parallel to the image based works. I didn’t have a studio at the time so I was working out of the living room in my one bedroom apartment.

This would be a good time to mention what I do with the majority of my hours during the week. I’ve been working at the George Eastman Museum since 2010 and was promoted to manager of exhibitions and programs in 2013. In addition to overseeing the installation of the museums exhibitions, I work closely with the curators and creative director to design and layout the shows.  This usually includes us looking through swatch books and laughing at some of the absurdly named paint colors. A few of my personal favorites, “Grandma’s Sweater 787″ and “Applesauce Cake 316-5″.

But really what was of interest to me was the way that the paint manufactures were assigning names and numbers to colors that were intended to represent nature, specifically air and water.

After an exhibition of the work at the Hartnett Gallery in Rochester, Tate Shaw, the director of Visual Studies Workshop, invited me to do a month long residency at VSW with the goal of making a book that would include some of the sketches I’d made for the paintings. I had never made a book before but I’d always wanted to so I jumped at the opportunity. At first my progress was a little slow. It was very difficult for me to take the sketches off the wall and not think about them that way. Once I got them in somewhat of a book form though the sequencing became really exciting and everything started to come together.

VSW Project Space

VSW Project Space (March 2015)

VSW Project Space (March 2015)

VSW Project Space (March 2015)

I also used my time at the residency to think about another series I’d been working on of straight images that I knew were related to color and the landscape but couldn’t quite figure out how to tie everything together. Seeing them in the space with the paint swatches made everything click and I began incorporating the swatches. This work is still in progress but it was an added bonus to working in the studio and being able to see these intersections of my work that I hadn’t previously.

VSW Project Space (March 2015)

VSW Project Space (March 2015)

VSW Project Space (March 2015)

VSW Project Space (March 2015)

At the end of the residency I had produced my first draft of the book.  Subsequent drafts would not include the suitcase images and the final version of the book has a different cover that was designed by Travis Johansen and I am MUCH happier with it.

1st draft of _e_scapes book

1st draft of _e_scapes book

1st draft of _e_scapes book

1st draft of _e_scapes book

The book starts with Dawn’s Early Light C57-1 and progresses through the day, enduring a rainstorm with the sun eventually coming back out and fading into a Peaceful Night 590F-7.

page layout from "_e_scapes"

page layout from “_e_scapes”

page layout from "_e_scapes"

page layout from “_e_scapes”

page layout from "_e_scapes"

page layout from “_e_scapes”

page layout from "_e_scapes"

page layout from “_e_scapes”

I hope you can make it out to see Ink and Paper at Main Street Arts. There are a lot of really great books and I’m grateful to be a part of the exhibition.

View Nick’s artwork online at www.n-marshall.com. Stop by Main Street Arts to see his artwork in our current exhibition, Ink and Paper (runs through Friday, March 25). Take a look at our previous Inside the Artist’s Studio blog post by book artist Amanda Chestnut.