Saturday, November 10, 2007

Offset Portraits : Ari Rossner

I've known Ari Rossner for more than 10 years, following his fine beauty photography as he created a distinct aesthetic and a long list of clients throughout Europe and the US. We've worked together on editorial pieces and shared a great deal of conversation on the role of digital photography and the various software abounding to get the most out of it. Ari asked me recently about a series of images he had produced involving offset plates. I went to his studio in Ivry sur Seine to see them and liked the way he'd taken an offset object and turned it into a painted object. Apparently others liked them as well; at a recent private showing he sold nearly a fifth of his production.

Ari Rossner is a beauty photographer who "dirties" his pictures to great effect. Here is how he came upon this brilliant new offset portraiture :

"At the end of a long night of printing a poster for a client, the printer removed the four large aluminum offset plates from the press and put them aside to be thrown away," he recalls. "It was so intriguing to me as a photographer to see my photo 'dirtied' with ink, I asked if I could have the plates. Once in my studio, I began to work with them, painting the surfaces with printers ink and oil paint. The results fascinated me. Since my photography focuses on beauty, a discipline that involves hours of detail work, to work directly on a metal plate unleashed a freedom I never knew before. My images received a second life."

These works are original in the sense they touch upon printing but are not prints and painting but are not on canvas. Ari has created a series of these plate portraits and exhibited them privately in Paris this past autumn, working across media to create something completely new a painterly manner. Lalande Digital Art Press produced a series of post cards for Ari's new series. See more of Ari's work here. Or e-mail Ari.

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