Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Presenting Artist Darryll Schiff's Stunning Fine Art Photography

The above Photograph is part of Darryll's Schiff's Descending to Heaven Series: The Parade Commences

It was only a few years ago that Darryll left the life of commercial and celebrity assignments on the west coast and chose the field of fine art photography. Now residing in his hometown of Chicago, his art is in the permanent collections  of such renowned institutions such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, The Art Institute of Chicago, The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, The George Eastman House, The Norton Simon Museum Pasadena, and The Museum of Contemporary Photography, as well as in many private collections. 

As you can see from these selections, his art draws you in and does not want to let you go. You seek more, looking at the action, the blaze of colors, questioning yourself  as well as the art itself. How is it that such fine movement and intriguing sound can emanate from these works of art...they do!

Please enjoy my conversation with Darryll below.

Chicago Loop 4

Where do you find the inspiration for your works of art?

Many things inspire me and thus I am fortunate that I never seem to be at a loss for ideas.  However, there are themes that seem to recur in my artwork, reflections of modern life, especially in these fast paced times and how this affects peoples’ interactions, our “dance” through life, and perceptions versus reality; something a camera is particularly suited to capture.

Chicago's Magnificent Mile

How did you make the decision to work in large-scale format?

I do also make prints that are more of a “normal” size, but working large is a combination of what I feel is necessary for my pictures to effectively communicate my ideas, as well as what has become almost the norm for true fine art photography  that competes with other art forms, such as painting, fine art video, and sculpture. Going hand in hand with this is having small, limited editions of each work.  Depending on the piece, I will only  produce 3-12 prints, no more.


Tell us a bit about the process that brings your fine art photography to life. The movement in them is so intriguing.

This movement you see gets back to how I want to reflect the times we live in.  But as far as my process goes, it is something that has evolved. I would say necessarily evolved, as I have grown as an artist.  I started going to art classes when I was 10 years old, at the Art Institute of Chicago, and my mother and one of my sisters are accomplished artists, so from early on I have had an amazing background in fine art.
Almost from the start of my photography education and career, I approached the camera as a tool, as more of a paintbrush, rather than being so concerned about things such as having the newest gear, the absolute sharpest lenses, etc.  While to a certain degree that might be important, those are just technical things, rather than technique and vision, which are important components of art.

Dia del Suenos

Who are the other artists with whom you have found insight or encouragement from- either from them or their works? 

For artists, I have to start with Arthur Siegel, who was head of the Photography  program when I was at college at the Institute of Design, at the Illinois Institute of  Technology. (I note the Institute of Design was started as the New Bauhaus by Maholy Nagy, from the original Bauhaus in Germany).  

Arthur was a very serious, a bit cantankerous, and a no-nonsense, fantastic educator.  Many students were somewhat put off by his personality, but there was a great rapport between us. He taught me, among other things, that I must strive for perfection, both technically and artistically.  My mother and sister also showed me the dedication an artist needs.

There are so many other artists whose work influence me... but I will name a few: Frederick Sommer, Alfred Steiglitz, Cartier Bresson; classical artists like Rubens, Goya, Titian; and modern artists from Picasso to De Kooning to Pollock.

Red V

Do you have any upcoming shows scheduled and where can our readers view your fine art photography?  

We are trying to be very selective about the shows my work appear in.  After a very successful Photo L.A. earlier this year I decided I needed a “team” to work with me to help and take over a lot of these types of things.  The most important way for me to use my time is to be working on my art.   I added a new assistant and am also working with Paula Winke, a marketing and public relations consultant. I am fortunate to be working with great people.  

I sell a a great deal of my art to private collectors. I also consult with interior designers and architects to source my fine art photography on luxury residential and commercial projects. Beyond that we are reaching out to corporate art consultants and international galleries  to explore exhibitions for the future.

The best way to see art is to see it in person.  My work is, among other places, in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of  Art New York, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, the Norton Simon Museum, The Pasadena, and George Eastman House in Rochester N.Y.  If you or your readers get to Chicago, please email me. I schedule regular studio visits, by appointment.

Darryll Schiff

Finally, Darryll,  What words of wisdom do you have for the aspiring artist of any age?

To be successful at something, regardless of how much talent you have, it takes a lot of hard work and reaching very high levels of technical skill before you can really use that in your own special way.  Do not underestimate the value of knowing art (and photography) history.  

Picasso was a wonderful example of this.  If you  see his early works you will understand how great a technician he was and how skilled of an artist he was.  He would not have able to achieve what he did with Cubism without that.

Thank you so much Darryll for your insightful thoughts  for our readers to enjoy.

Be sure to watch this incredibly exciting Video in praise of Darryll's work on his site. 

Darryll's website of his fine art can be found at Darryll Schiff Fine Art It really captured my attention and will yours!

Read Darryll's fascinating  Blog, DEFINEART  to hear and see his latest works and ventures.

Much thanks goes to Paula Winke, marketing and public relations consultant, who made the introduction.  Paula is  based  in Kansas City; however her work with clients takes her throughout North America and abroad.

Thank you to my Friends and Followers who support the Arts!

The Arts by Karena 

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