Artist Statement – Del Kimbler
My purpose in photography has always been to record, in some degree of controlled fidelity, what I see. In the earliest days in shooting other than holiday snapshots, the degree of fidelity was high. As my skills developed and I was exposed to educational influences in art (I don’t claim an education in art, just influences), the degree of fidelity changed, in night scenes for example, and the composition had more variety, but the degree of control remained.
In rediscovering the creative side of photography over the past few years, I still find much that I like in my earlier work. Where I diverge is not in the technical skill or control, but in the subject and its treatment. There are more likely to be people prominent as subjects now, where the past work ran more to landscapes than people, but I can trace a thread of social landscape back to the beginning. And if people are not the subject, their creations are. This is as good a definition of social landscape as any I have found, and social landscape describes my body of work better than any other term of fine art photography.
I see now that I have been influenced by Ansel Adams technically, but by Walker Evans thematically. More recently I found a week of shooting with Keith Johnson in his Jackson Hole Workshop an experience that helped me put my past work in perspective, and gave me new ways to look at what I do in the future. The emphasis on technique and control is still there, else how can it be art if it happens by accident and I can’t create another one? But the freedom of subject and treatment are things I am still learning, much to my enjoyment.
And I still think of what I do as social landscape. What I strive for in my best work is making photographs that make the viewer think. I don’t mind art that captures the eye purely because of its beauty. I even hope I have made some. But I am happiest about my work when I can present a view of humankind that makes someone want to look at it a second time, at least.
Del Kimbler has been involved in photography in some way for most of his life. His experience includes brief periods in event and commercial photography and photojournalism; more recently, his focus has been on fine art photography. His first published work was a photoessay in his college newspaper. His early work also included advertising photographs and a magazine cover. As his career as an engineering educator was nearing its end, he turned again to photography. He joined the Pendleton Square Artist Cooperative in 2014, and has served in several leadership roles. He has been actively exhibiting in the South Carolina upstate since 2003. Notable accomplishments include:
“Spinnaker”, color print from 35mm slide, honorable mention, Atlantic Monthly National Travel Photography Contest 1977
“Cup of Gold”, honorable mention, Upstate Visual Arts Holiday Juried Show 2004.
Six works, invited exhibition “Then and Now”, Pickens County Museum, 2012
“Dreamscape #1”, best in show, Clemson Photo Club Member Show, 2013
“Shipshapes #3”, purchase award, Anderson Artists Guild Member Show, 2016
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