Meeting with Bill Hunt (Meetings Photo Reviews)

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I met with Bill Hunt, photo collector and former partner/owner of Hasted-Hunt gallery*, during my one-and-only review at Filter Photo Festival in Chicago.

I was lucky enough to be introduced to Bill the night before at the Portfolio Walk by fellow photographer, Debi Cornwall. Debi was my photography neighbor during the Portfolio Walk and is a fantastic photographer with wonderful photo skills and an even better story. Check-out her work.

Since Bill already saw my work at the Portfolio Walk and learned about my artistic intentions, goals for this body of work, etc. prior to my actual meeting scheduled for the next morning, I was able to use most of the 20 minute review getting direction and planning the future of this work. I listened intently and took notes of our discussion.

Immediately after the review I took the advice of our wonderful Filter Photo Festival coach, Chris Kleihege. Chris is the Tim Gunn (Parsons faculty and TV personality of Project Runway fame) equivalent in the Filter Photo world of portfolio reviews. Chris’ advice was to immediately go to a quiet place in the hotel lobby and write (like-the-wind) about everything that was said during the portfolio review. I did just that and can summarize my personal experience with Bill Hunt as follows:

  • The strength of this work is in its Abstract Qualities. Do NOT use the crutch of making representational work. Don’t even call these images. Be bold and Run with the Process. Look at work by Matthew Brand (represented by M&B Gallery), Alison Rossiter, Chris McCaw, and Marco Breuer, and others who are fully process-oriented

  • Pour in emotion, energy, spirituality. He said (generically), …

“Be YOU, but More So …”

~ Bill Hunt

  • Go BIG. Create a Matrix of Nine Plates/Panels. Caveat: historically, tintypes of this size (6inch x 9inch plates) are already considered large in the Alternative Process world. Haha, I expected this comment from Bill Hunt. Everything in his gallery was huge. His request is almost a cliche’.

  • Presentation: ditch the plastic sleeves (that I use to protect the varnished plates), they are too reflective and detract from the viewer’s experience; incorporate process tools/equipment in the final presentation (i.e. mount the plates in developer trays or treat/finish them as sculptural pieces, etc.)

  • Bill suggested that I contact John Scanlan (Verve Gallery in Santa fe, NM); Melanie McWhorter (manager of Photo-Eye’s book division / contributor to Fraction magazine); and maybe even Yossi Milo gallery in NYC. Bill was gracious enough to allow me to use/drop his name in any of my attempts at an introduction.

We closed the review with a short discussion about some testing that I’ve done on glass (ambrotypes) and watercolor paper (Talbot’s salted paper prints) and with B&W enlarging paper (like traditional chemigrams). I might also print these digitally and produce some very large, color-saturated, contrast-boosted pigment prints on specialty (metalic-based) printer paper.

 

Note*: Hasted-Kraeutler gallery closed in late 2015 amid allegations of financial mismanagement between the owners and after Sarah Hasted left the gallery for New Mexico upon the death of her brother.