Artist Statements

True North

Molly McCall | True North

Artist Statement | Home Movies

After collecting vintage snapshots for decades, I began to notice discarded home movies in flea markets and antique shops that grabbed my attention. The simple cinematic narratives in the found movies intrigued me as I wondered what made these occasions so important that they would be immortalized on film? The recordings of benign family trips, scenic skylines, and everyday life were so iconic and yet mysterious; the unfamiliar places and unnamed people seemed lost in their anonymity. I came to discover that each filmed story was a testimony to the past, loss, love, and memory — a memory that could be revisited over and over again and reanimated on demand.

 

In the series Home Movies, I am creating segmented imagery to explore connections between the passage of time, transition/transformation, loss, and memory. The seemingly spontaneous found images are reframed to reveal gestures of unfinished stories and convey memory in a narrative form. The series integrates my interest in art history, color theory, and found imagery, using photographic processes and today’s technology. Color and mark-making are also used to emphasize or diminish certain elements of the photographic image, similar to the deterioration and fading of memory and material things over time. Each print is toned with various solutions, and details are painted out or painted in, using oil and acrylic paints, transforming the vintage image through time as it is re-created in its new state, and in a new context.

Molly McCall | From a Distance

Molly McCall | From a Distance

 
 

Artist Statement | In the In-Between

The idea of exploring the use of paintings as photography came out of the question “What is a photograph?” I began by using early European masters’ paintings in a photographic context to create a dialogue between the two mediums and investigate the sense of time and the historical gap between them. In the series In the In-Between, I am combining early European masters’ paintings with modern technology, photographic techniques, and surface to juxtapose the past and the present. The original painted images are printed in reverse photographically, and then painted abstractly, compressing and expanding the connections between the passage of time, transition, transformation, and memory.  The series integrates my interest in art history, color theory, and found imagery. Color and mark-making are also used to emphasize or diminish certain elements of the photographic image, similar to the deterioration and fading of physical and material things over time.

 

This series is an exploration of the past and the transition to the present. As I artistically engage with these painted images, I am building my own visual language through color theory, scale, and texture to elicit an emotional response and to activate a new context.

 

My creative process is about searching, looking, and finding. It includes resurrection and reimagination, and it is slow, requiring time, waiting, and craft. I find images in junk shops, flea markets, books, and on the Internet, and then recapture them on film and print the new image in the darkroom. I love using film with all of its fragility and flaws. In Japanese, the beautiful word natsukashii (懐かしい) identifies the feeling of evocative longing for something past — a yearning nostalgia that’s also very sad, as it reminds you that what you remember will never happen again. Film physically manifests this emotion in a metaphorical way, capturing a moment that comes and goes, then vanishes, leaving only the visual record behind as proof of its existence.

 

 
Molly McCall | Canoe

Molly McCall | Canoe

 

 

Artist Statement |One Moment

I have been collecting vintage snapshots for decades and am intrigued by the mysterious stories that each one holds. The found images are similar to my own family photos, yet the unfamiliar places and unnamed people seemed lost in their anonymity. As I discover each image, I am impacted viscerally by their testimony to the past, loss, love, and memory — a time and a place indelibly frozen in a unique circumstance, in an impermanent moment.

In the series One Moment, I am exploring connections between the passage of time, transition/transformation, loss, and memory.  The series integrates my interest in art history, color theory, and found imagery, using photographic processes and today’s technology. Color and mark-making are also used to emphasize or diminish certain elements of the photographic image, similar to the deterioration and fading of physical and material things over time. Each print is toned with various solutions, teas, or coffees, and details are painted out or painted in, using oil and acrylic paints, transforming the vintage image through time as it is re-created in its new state, and in a new context.

 

My creative process is about searching, looking, and finding. It includes resurrection and reimagination, and it is slow, requiring time, waiting, and craft. I find images in junk shops, flea markets, books, and on the Internet, and then recapture them on film and print the new image in the darkroom. I love using film with all of its fragility and flaws. In Japanese, the beautiful word natsukashii (懐かしい) identifies the feeling of evocative longing for something past—a yearning nostalgia that’s also very sad, as it reminds you that what you remember will never happen again. Film physically manifests this emotion in a metaphorical way, capturing a moment that comes and goes, then vanishes, leaving only the visual record behind as proof of its existence.