“Italian Light” by Douglas Gilbert

"Venice", from Douglas Gilbert's "Italian Light" series.

“Venice”, from Douglas Gilbert’s “Italian Light” series
(click any image on this page to view larger)

Douglas R. Gilbert has been a serious photographer since the age of fourteen. When he was twenty-one, he joined the staff of LOOK magazine in New York as the second youngest photojournalist in the magazines history. A few years later, he left LOOK to work as an artist and taught at Columbia College in Chicago and then as an Assistant Professor at Wheaton College, IL. His current work focuses mainly on the qualities of sunlight expressed in the landscape. His last 2 projects have focused on the light and landscape in Italy.

His work is in the permanent collections of the Art Institute of Chicago, The Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena, CA and the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, as well as in many private and institutional collections. He has exhibited in galleries all over the world including New York, California, Chicago, Boston, LA, Washington, Italy, London and Sydney, Australia. He is the co-author of 3 books; C.S. Lewis: Images of his World with Clyde Kilby, Flannery O’Connor: Images of Grace with Harold Fickett and The Steps of Bonhoeffer with J. Martin Bailey. He is the author of Forever Young: Photographs of Bob Dylan with text by Dave Marsh.

He is a West Michigan native who after years of living in NY, IL and MA has returned to Michigan where he lives with his wife in Ferrysburg, Michigan.

The Duomo, Orvieto, Umbria 1999

The Duomo, Orvieto, Umbria

 

 

Venice No. 1

Venice No. 1

Italian Light
Artist Statement by Douglas R. Gilbert

Light is essential to the photographer’s art, revealing the world in ever-changing configurations. Light draws the forms on the film and sets the shadows dancing in the frame. Italian light is especially bold and assertive, taking charge of the photographer’s “canvas” and challenging him to discover and order what is before him. It can whisper or shout, glow ethereally or push its way to the front of the stage, taking command of an ongoing performance. This dance of light and shadow, both physical and compositional elements, defines space and creates moving, changing environments.

 

St. Peter's, Rome

St. Peter’s, Rome

 

 

Tiber River, Rome

Tiber River, Rome

I have found that although the physical world is ever-present it is never quite knowable. That is, there is always mystery present, drawing one to itself. Photographing it is a primary method of my exploration. The subject remains elusive and inexhaustible and has challenged me for more than 45 years.

The light and landscape of Italy heightens this challenge to me and is an irresistible draw for continuing explorations. The physical world is the raw material for my art. I photograph the environment around me, rather than any construction of my private realities. The photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson put it well when he said, “There are those who take photographs arranged beforehand and those who go out to discover the image and seize it. … In order to ‘give a meaning’ to the world, one has to feel oneself involved in what one frames through the viewfinder. …One must always take photographs with the greatest respect for the subject and for oneself.”

Orvieto

Orvieto

 

 

Orvieto No. 2

Orvieto No. 2

With this project I have tried to push further into mystery and make visible entry points for seeing something in a new or deeper way. Italian light has been a vehicle for me to extend the boundaries of possibility in my work as a photographer. I hope that in looking at this work you will feel some of the fascination I experience with this unique light and that you will catch a sense of the mystery present there.

To inquire or purchase one of Douglas Gilbert’s images, please contact C2C Gallery directly.

Florence, Tuscany

Florence, Tuscany

Venice, No. 2

Venice, No. 2

Arcidosso No. 2, Tuscany

Arcidosso No. 2, Tuscany

Orvieto No. 1, Umbria

Orvieto No. 1, Umbria

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