Photo-Sculpture Process - MATT GATTON
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THE PROCESS

Photo-sculpture as a Medium

Matt Gatton made a series of influential photo-sculptures, beginning in the 1980s, that involved considerable experimentation with materials. Subsequent practitioners of photo-sculpture, most notably Brno Del Zou, Osang Gwon, and Oliver Herring, carry on the tradition and elevate the medium.

Matt Gatton, print shards, 'Man-as-Chrysalis' in process

PUZZLING THE PORTRAIT

Gatton photographs his sitters from all angles, and then makes a portrait bust in plaster, clay, papier-mache, cast plastic, or glass.

Matt Gatton, photo-sculpture, 'Man-as-Chrysalis' in process

SCULPTURE HEAD

Once the bust is complete, Gatton collages the photographs onto the surface of the sculpture.

Matt Gatton, photo-sculpture, 'Man-as-Chrysalis' in process
Gatton applies prints to 'Man as Chrysalis', photo-sculpture

CREATING THE DIMENSIONAL PORTRAIT

Slowly, the portrait emerges. The “life” of this work is the result of a multitude of light and angle shifts for every plane of the face. It takes months to complete a portrait.

'Man as Chrysalis', photo-sculpture, archival ink jet prints on plaster and clay bust, 1996 (resurfaced 2017) private collection)

THE PORTRAIT OF THE PORTRAIT

Photographs of the final photo-sculpture are then shot from many angles using a large format camera. Images from those shoots are printed on aluminum sheets using dye sublimation.

'Man as Chrysalis', photo-sculpture, archival ink jet prints on plaster and clay bust, 1996 (resurfaced 2017) private collection)