“Italian Light” by Douglas Gilbert
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.
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.
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.”
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.