I have been exploring the varied possibilities of “the composite photograph” and alternative methods of presenting photographs for more than 30 years. Working with grids, multiple images, and creative presentation materials allows me to expand the language of still photography beyond the limitations of traditional single-frame imagery. Although my work is primarily formalist in approach, I am interested in how combinations of images work together both visually and thematically. Often my artworks are about photography itself and the various options and decisions explored while photographing, editing, printing, and assembling.
Some of my composite photographs portray varied facets of a singular subject in multiple combined frames. More commonly recently, the component parts of these assemblages were photographed years and perhaps many miles apart, and the reasons for the completed assemblages are both formal/aesthetic, and also relate to subject matter and potential content.
My newest series of Image/Text works, which I sometimes refer to as “Open to Interpretation,” involves the inclusion of each artwork’s title as a visual element included in each work. This text has an amount of intended ambiguity, so that content is somewhat directed, but so that each viewer may also infer his or her own meaning from the work. These 36” square image/text artworks on wood or canvas, and my 20" x 20" mixed-media works on paper may include layered acrylic color field painting, original photographs, varied methods of applying text, unique presentation and framing options, and other mixed-media components. Specific interpretation of context and meaning is open.
-- David Underwood.