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John Reuter: Shadows and Traces

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John Reuter’s mixed media images abstract the environments and subjects contained within each frame to such a degree that they could be interpreted as surrealist paintings. Pushed aside are notions of photography as a medium of truth and reality.  The viewer is invited into a realm where the Polaroid is deconstructed and paint, pastels or other images are collaged beneath the emulsion’s surface which is then positioned carefully back into place to assume the classic Polaroid aesthetic. Reuter explains how his process began; “In the fall of 1975 I entered the MA program at the University of Iowa to study with John Schulze.  My work then was primarily experimental black and white processes from solarization to reticulation and composite printing.  My influences were experimental photographers such as Man Ray, Todd Walker, Herbert Bayer and Jerry Uelsmann.  Equally important were the influences of painters such as Rene Magritte, Max Ernst and Francis Bacon.  At a studio shoot arranged by the students I brought the SX-70 camera in addition to my 35 mm equipment.  A fellow grad student, Rick Valencenti also had […]

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