Artist Statement

I have used photography and it has used me. I have forced my will upon photography and have become a slave to its possibilities.

As a freshman, I stepped into my first photography class, and it has been part of my life everyday since. Photography has been my escape, a place where things that don’t exist, can exist. I embrace risk and chaos in my images and intentionally keep myself off balance in search of the unpredictable. The camera is my storyteller, a liar, and my friend.

I have intentionally made things look more beautiful than they really are, and created narratives that simply do not exist.

In my world, film is still relevant to photography, although I simultaneously embrace the digital realm. As a Polaroid artist, I utilize a nearly irrelevant photographic media, endangered and near extinction. A priority of my concentration has been large format Polaroid work, which has encompassed a decade of emulsion manipulation and multiple-imagery. Polaroid is The Vanishing Medium, and a degenerating art form and that’s interesting.

That’s interesting has nourished my curiosity for decades, resulting in images that I might never have imagined. Post-visualization is a domain where I’ve resided often, extracting imagery through manipulation during and after exposures, out of the camera and in the lab.

Altering the conventional square/rectangular boundaries of the photograph and trapping ideas in gelatin, which are subsequently encrypted, is an indulgence to which I’ve surrendered myself.

In a world of photographic editions, an emulsion manipulation is a single piece, simultaneously photography and sculpture.

Social narratives are generally accidental, and although I gravitate toward the non-realistic side of photography, historical recording has found it’s way into my work by being at a place, at a time, with a camera, as an observer.

These are images that merge as contributions to the overall body of work and part of the great unpredictable.

Historically, I have fused art and commerce as an artist who embraces short and long term projects, using the print and the printed page as my forum.

Images which are susceptible to multiple interpretations, encouraging dissection and dialogue are my companions.

In my photographs, ideas and stories exist where truth and reality are discretionary electives. Living in my world is fine, but visiting my otherworld is often amazing.

Jack Perno/BFA

Photography/New Media

Kansas City Art Institute