Brett Henrikson | Pawtucktet RI, United States

Short bio:
Brett Henrikson is an Artist, Photographer and Educator. Photographic processes are his hammer and chisel, as he approaches the world and uses visual language to understand and reinterpret being. His bodies of work use the physicality of the photographic object in a new and unconventional way, to try and break photography’s relationship with realism. He is based strongly in the craft and alchemy of the process and believes that the hands on aspects of working in the darkroom and using film or large format gives the artist a real sense of creation over their work.

Why do you photograph on film?
Right now the photographic medium is in a state of transition. It is torn between the impetus of it being an act of documenting the world around us, and lesser so documenting of the feeling of the world around us. This transition is similar to the transformation that painting had when the birth of photography killed history painting by stepping in as the ultimate tool of realism. This new medium allowed for painting to transition into work about the feeling of being there instead of what being there looked like. Working with the physical medium of photography not only allows for craftsmanship to be a driving force in the creation of the work but it allows for the artists to act in a state of intersection or disruption. To disturb the implied reality that a photograph represents. Or in the case of the Chaotic Forms series for the artist and the viewer to create a new window into a world, a world that very much so is not part of our reality or our laws. This intersection of the artists hand using the physical photographic medium is absolutely crucial in the creation of a visual space in which art and photography can undoubtedly become one.

What is your work about?
Most photographs serve as a conduit for realism providing the viewer with a window into our world. The images for Chaotic Forms are broken windows; silver shards created through destruction echoing a dialogue with dark dreams from a long forgotten past. In these dreams skin becomes metallic and I let the light guide my sense of mysticism into somewhere new that only exists on the ether and in the shimmering light from my darkroom trays and from behind my eyes. In dialogue with classical painting and sculpture, Chaotic Forms allows for the surreal and the deceptive to enter back into the photograph. The slow nature of working in the darkroom takes on a meditative quality, the red light and glass plates dance in the shadows with endless possibility. I show the viewer smoke and mirrors, intimate forms and dark beauty.