"I'm a bit obsessed with documenting my environments, particularly in film photographs. I learned photography on film cameras as a young boy and I never stopped using them, even with the great advances and ease of use digital photography brought. However using film compels me to look closer at my subjects and contemplate what it is that makes me want to document them in that moment. I will not see the results instantly, but when I do I am rewarded with a memory in physical form. There is a dichotomy of motivations for why I use film to create art. I enjoy the technical process of film photography: capturing the image and working with the tactile film satisfies my need for process and complication. But the final works, the compositions created from imprecise cut-ups and reordering of pieces, satisfies my desire to not follow rules and convention.
All of my artwork very small constructions I create by hand from images I shoot in vintage cameras on transparency film. I photograph the same environment many times from slightly different angles, sometimes double-exposing the film, sometimes shooting extreme details. I then use 4 or 5 of the film images to combine details which create an abstract portrait of that environment. I cut the film using different tools and magnifying glasses, and place the pieces using tweezers, adhering them together on glass or acetate as I continue to build “up” the composition by overlapping pieces. When a composition is finished, I scan it at a resolution high enough to be printed very large-scale.
The compositions themselves preserve the artifacts of construction, like the glue, tape, dust, and overlapping pieces, that when presented at large scale become a sort of roadmap of the artistic process for the viewer. My hope is that the compositions engage viewers to look deep and interpret them on a both an emotional and technical level, discovering familiar glimpses of environments contained in the film as well as the aesthetics inherent in the creative process."
ABOUT THE ARTIST
David Bellard is a Seattle-based artist working in film photography and video installation. His photographic style is derived from shooting his subjects on film, then cutting and reconstructing the film to create new celluloid compositions, which are scanned and enlarged for large-scale prints. Bellard’s photomontage work is influenced by artists such as Gilbert and George, Hannah Hoch and Alexander Rodchenko, while drawing conceptual influence from the cut-up theories of Brion Gysin and William Burroughs. Bellard exhibits his art and video installations regularly in the U.S. and around the world, and is on display in several corporate collections in the U.S. He is the founder and principle creative director at the design studio Fluency Creative in Seattle, Washington.