Manipulating Found Photographs
See her work in Vol. IV #9
(Full work 9′ x 5′; individual prints 17″ x 11″)
Bieber manipulates found photographs through an elaborate process of photocopying, enlarging, painting, and collaging. The result is a series of grainy, black and white images of trees, flowers, animals, houses, and the occasional human figure, produced either as large single-image photographic murals or as wall-sized montages.
The Paul W. Zuccaire Gallery at Stony Brook University’s Staller Center for the Arts hosts LORNA BIEBER: Traces November 5–December 18, 2016. The exhibition includes 10 of the artist’s murals and four of her montages produced between 1999 and 2015. Bieber began using stock photographs as the basis of her art while working as a photo editor at a large-circulation magazine in New York in the late 1980s. Drawn to the seeming universality of these stock images, she developed a technique of photocopying the pictures in black and white, enlarging them, painting and drawing on them, and repeating the process until the images were transformed into something entirely unique, personal, mysterious and quietly dramatic.