2 silver gelatin prints, selenium toned
170.2 x 135.9 cm. each
Courtesy the artist
Michael Wesik’s diptych of dramatic photographs reflects his mastery of analogue printing techniques. Drawing inspiration from nature, Wesik’s atmospheric images are at once familiar and barely recognisable. In keeping with the artist’s longstanding interest in the sublime, this picture suggests an ominous magnitude and expansive beauty. Titled Taevas, which translates as “sky” or “heaven” in Estonian, Wesik’s paired images resonate with charged energy, evoking a blustering skyscape even as they resist straightforward depiction.
Reading the movement of the sky and adjusting his exposure times accordingly, Wesik takes ten to thirty minute exposures. Every chance movement of the camera and its subjects registers as wild abstraction patterns in the image. Working with 11 x 14″ negatives, his wet-process prints are developed by hand and often involve experimentation with unique tinting processes. For Taevas, Wesik has toned the silver gelatin prints with selenium to amplify their rich tonal range, and to contrast their deep blacks and fulminous whites. The result is a powerful testament to the materiality of camera art, and the intricate analogue processes that digital technologies still strive to emulate.
Michael Wesik (b. 1978, Vancouver, BC) is technically rigorous photographer whose meticulous precision is in the mode of Ansel Adams. His sought-after landscape photographs were recently featured in the group exhibition From Nature (2013) at Equinox Gallery, Vancouver. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Art History from the University of British Columbia. Wesik lives in Vancouver.