Wednesday, April 30, 2008

"Tell him it was a good picture…" - Bob Dylan

Thanks to photographer Paul Till for news of his show opening in Toronto tomorrow:



From May 1 to May 31, 2008 at Industrial Storm, 1099 Queen Street West, Toronto, Paul Till announces the opening of his exhibition First 3 Songs (no flash), as part of the Contact Photography Festival. Opening reception 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., Thursday, May 1.

Perhaps best known as Bob Dylan's photographer for the record jacket for Blood on the Tracks, Paul Till has been photographing live music concerts since 1974. "First 3 Songs (no flash) refers to the standard instructions given to concert photographers about how much time they have to get their shots.

David Byrne, De La Soul, Prince, Gang of Four, Dinosaur Jr., Iggy Pop, The Spice Girls, Nick Cave, The Boredoms, The Rolling Stones and Bob Dylan are some of the performers making their photographic appearance at Industrial Storm this month. "I have powerful images of famous performers, as well as those whom fame has eluded. Rather than choosing motion, I am depicting performance as frozen moments in time, petrified like flies in amber or painterly tableaus."

"The combining of images started out because I'd have a great photo with a big empty area that ruined it but could be fixed by putting a bit of another photo in it. Often it was an opportunity to include another band member. But as time wore on, other things started to happen. I'd put three photos of the same person, I'd include members of the audience, I'd throw in whatever seemed to make the images work."

The prints are a mixture of traditional black and white silver prints and both colour and black and white giclee prints, with image sizes ranging from about 22" x 22" to 20" by 50". All are multiple images, some physically collaged, some collaged and photoshopped, and some whose history is entirely in the digital realm. The techniques used are a continuity of result that predates digital photography. Till's aim is not to trick people but to show dynamic evidence that these are in fact multiple and manipulated images. This is proven through use of physical artifacts and imagery - sandwiching negatives, obvious tears and gluing of collages, multiple appearances of the same performer in a single print.

Till's photo of Bob Dylan, which was used for the cover of Blood on the Tracks after much darkroom and hand colouring manipulation, was from the first live music concert he ever photographed, using his Dad's then 40 year old Leica camera and a borrowed lens. As Till's success continued, he photographed over 1000 bands, using every combination of film, cameras and technique that he could get his hands on.

Tilll's solo exhibition history began with "new/gods/sing", a show of rock and roll photography in the early 80's. Since then he has had numerous shows, from the infrared photography of "One More River to Cross - Boats and Monuments", the colour xerography of "Some Neat Stuff" to his recent series of more formal black and white work in "Buildings, Gardens and Statues". He has exhibited widely in Canada as well as internationally. His most recent overseas exhibition was as part of "The Official Bob Dylan Exhibition" at the Proud Galleries in London, England.

The Show -- May 1 to May 31, 2008, Opening Reception 6 pm to 9 pm, Thursday, May 1, 2008
Industrial Storm - 1099 Queen Street West, Toronto