Walter Crump explores alternative ways in which cameras see the world. Trained as a painter and printmaker, Crump gradually mastered the art of photography when in 1986 he was asked to teach photography at his school. Previously, he had never worked in a darkroom. Over time, as his photography skills improved, his grew fascinated with the possibilities of extending his vision through photography and began to concentrate on alternative ways to photograph, using both traditional cameras & handmade pinhole cameras. He soon gravitated from printmaking to photography first working in his darkroom and later digitally.
Crump photographs cityscapes, landscapes, people, details and found objects - anything that catches his eye. He merges most of his photographs, melding or welding multiple images, producing photographs that hover between photography and painting, leaving time, and words behind.
Crump has been especially attracted to still lifes - why, he doesn’t know. But from the first time he saw, in art school, Chardin’s still life paintings of domestic objects, he was mesmerized. Later, discovering the still life painters of 16th & 17th century Northern Europe, Morandi’s sparse but luminous paintings of jars and bottles, William Bailey’s elegant ceramic “cities”, and most of all, my teacher Walter Murch’s object paintings, Crump began to explore, photographically, his own particular brand of still life. Instead of daily objects such as shinny apples, dead fish, polished copper vessels or battered crockery found in those painters’ paintings, he began to photograph the mechanical and electronic detritus of our culture. Over the years, he has collected and photographed objects discarded from the fading industrial world, fragments of defunct mechanisms, mangled circuit boards, worn gears and tangled rusting whackmadoos. Like Morandi who arraigned and rearranged his dull crockery, to create his luscious nuanced paintings, Crump’s constructed still lifes are not permanent; once photographed, they are dismantled and reassembled in different configurations. He thinks of these impermanent structures as machines without a purpose or machines that have lost their purpose invoking rusting metropolises or ambiguous edifices, elusive images appearing as cloudy wrecks of a dubious age, blending fiction and reality, shivery things surviving on the edge of memory.
Pinhole Still Life