James Welling
Works 1980 - 2008

In 1980, when I started thinking about making abstract photographs, I wanted to make work that did not look like "street photography." I was interested in doing something "oppositional." 


I began by shooting aluminum foil, kelp, pastry dough, and salt. (I was a short order cook at the time.) The aluminum foils (Untitled, 1980-1981) were the most exciting to me, and I spent the next 18 months working on them. Overexposing the prints made them look less like aluminum foil, which left more room for multiple associations. Most people interpreted the images as landscapes or as pictures of starry skies.


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