No. 13 Glitches and Stitches

Artists Statement

Jay Ressler • Glitches and Stitches, Say Cheese Restuarant, 600 Penn Ave., West Reading, PA

This is a joint show of work by Jay Ressler and Martha Ressler. Shown here are my contributions to the show

For more than a decade my work has featured composite photography in which by blending two or more photographs I have created an original interpretation of my subject matter. For much of that time, I have also worked with encaustic (hot wax) techniques.

In 2014 a young publicist for the Philadelphia Museum of Art visited our studio and suggested I might find glitching of interest. Glitching involves using software to corrupt image files in interesting and controlled ways.

In the ensuing months, I created a series I called “Buggy Bugs” featuring pictures of insects with glitched images of the underlying computer code of the original digital file employed as a blending layer to add stunning effects.

After completing that series, I put the idea aside because of limitations with the software at that time.

Newer glitching software available through gaming platforms now offers added functionality and greater artistic control. My newer pieces with more variegated subject matter, most coupled with encaustic techniques, are presented here juxtaposed with examples of the earlier work as well as one of composite blending as I typically practice it.

Jay M. Ressler

Jay Ressler Composite Photography, Encaustic Art, and Oil Painting He is an outstanding location photographer and painter, with an eye that can capture the soul of a Havana back street as beautifully as the sip of a hungry hummingbird, often with compelling black and white images. Jay Ressler is best known for artistic expression that lives in layers between opposites. “I like to explore boundaries,” he explains. “Boundaries between consciousness and the unconscious, between reality and imagination, between certainty and skepticism.” He does this by compositing his own photography in multiple layers to produce stunningly original, interleaved images. Using Photoshop, other image manipulation software and a variety of digital effects, he paints one photographic layer on top of another. He takes advantage of textures he's captured along with an array of processes for manipulating light, contrast, and color to tell the story. “Distorting and reinterpreting the literal 'machine moments' captured by the camera is as old as the art of photography,” he insists. Jay occasionally extends his multi-layered approach to encaustic mixed media creations. Based on ancient techniques, the process begins with cooking his own recipes of beeswax and damar resin and applying this medium between the layers of photographic images, along with various pigmented compounds and materials to add color, texture and expression. Either way, the results are riveting. The viewer is drawn into an unfolding, dreamlike scene that might be heart-warming, haunting, gritty, poignant or magical. Sometimes, within the various layers, all of the above. The award-winning photographer/artist has many dimensions himself. He studied advanced digital photography at Pittsburgh Filmmakers and advanced encaustic techniques with leading instructors in the field. He worked as an underground coal miner, steelworker, machinist, labor and civil rights activist, copywriter and commercial printer. He has a BS in Psychology from Albright College.

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