Elliot Schildkrout began photographing at 13. It changed his life. At 16, he won the National Scholastic Competition for Photography and began studying with Lisette Model at the New School. In college Schildkrout studied with William Giles, a student of Minor White, immersing himself in the tradition and technique of f/64 photography. The Vietnam War forced him to make a safe choice: a career in medicine. In the early 80s, he revived his interest in photography and was chosen to be a member of the Polaroid Collection. He worked in SX-70 and 4X5 Polaroid materials for two years, producing 4 portfolios for Polaroid of abstract color images. One of the images was published in 2005 in Taschen’s THE POLAROID BOOK, which was recently reissued.
In 2005, Schildkrout revisited an interest in photographing the geometry of abandoned spaces: rusted cars, graffiti, torn signs. The juxtaposition of these fragmented expressions in a larger urban architecture captures something of the fragmented realities that we all live in. Every façade in these landscapes is a potential public canvas. This expression seems most vital on the edges of urban decay, or the odd architecture of a new development. He photographed an abandoned amusement park in Lincoln, MA that has attracted an underground world of graffiti artists in the midst of this decaying park.
His work then turned more inward and Schildkrout began at first photographing manikins and their reflections of the city and then of himself. As he has moved towards doing photography more full time, his work has shifted. He returned to photographing nature, but his interest has been on what he feels is quite unique to photography, the edge between the real and the abstract. He wants to linger longer on the images, and to wonder about their connections with each other, rather than on any single photograph. The recent work on agave, sand, and water reflects this more spiritual internal journey.