Michael Donnor (born 1981) found photography in college and it has taken him on a non-stop adventure ever since. He graduated from the University at Buffalo in 2006 with a Bachelor of Arts in Fine Art Photography. Immediately after he was hired by the Santa Fe Photographic Workshops as a teaching assistant. Working there four seasons, he was constantly assisting some of the world’s premier photographers, such as Keith Carter, Karen Kuehn, Joe McNally, David Alan Harvey and Doug Beasley, during weeklong classes. This carried him to Mexico where his work continued and his vision expanded. Since then he has moved on with personal endeavors which included consulting in San Francisco, CA and Chapel Hill, NC. Recently he moved to a quiet farmhouse in Western New York and opened Donnor Photographic; where he continues to explore his art, and passion for photography.
Donnor works in the traditional wet darkroom method. The process begins with the negative; the decision of how to destroy it and decay it is about looking further than when the shutter was released. He manipulates each film negative using a number of techniques to further convey the concept of each image; including freezing, melting, scratching, cutting and re-taping to name a few. Once the negative is finished, the control of depth of field is done through the enlarger, allowing the choice in each print of where the focus will be. The finished gelatin silver print photographs are then toned in tea and selenium and signed, titled, dated and editioned in ink using the artist’s own hand-lettering technique. The paper edges are then burned and encaustic is applied in layers, finishing each piece from conception to print. They are one of a kind within an edition; from the tones to the lettering, burning and encaustic finish. No two prints are the same.
Donnor states, “I have always been fascinated with the idea that people are not as they seem. My self-included? I believe it is a rare happening that the true self is shared, and even more rare that when true self is shared it is seen. Instead what is shown to the world is a projection of the blurred truth of self; a projection of how people think they should be seen.
Curiosity leads me down this path like the curiosity to know what is behind a closed door. What is behind the door of a blurred projection of self? I always find the answer to this though is not as amazing as is the way a person builds their façade. We have marvelous tools of ego architecture that allow us to construct these grand fortresses that protect the fragile truth inside.
It is these fortresses of ego that I am at wonder about. To know a truth about someone and watch them from behind the stage, as the lights go on, and the curtain goes up; to see the performance, a great one at that. Knowing I am the only one realizing… what a show it is.
This project is my exploration from behind the stage of the greatest show of all… us. It is my view of false projections, fortresses of a facade, and the egos that stand upon them. From a self conscious but studious creature of that ego found in Mr. Peabody, to a children’s theatre where dreams were born and died at Korner’s folley; the tools and structures that we use to create our facades can be seen.
The fragile truth that is covered up can be many things: a secret best not shared, an event best forgotten, a failure best not remembered, or perhaps a dead dream that will not rest. Whichever the case, they are all a part of us that we will carry; the past that is a silent moan.”
Print Information: The finished gelatin silver print photographs are then toned in tea and selenium and signed, titled, dated and editioned in ink using the artist’s own hand-lettering technique. The paper edges are then burned and encaustic is applied in layers, finishing each piece from conception to print. They are one of a kind within an edition; from the tones to the lettering, burning and encaustic finish. No two prints are the same.
All gelatin silver print photographs are produced in a limited edition in three individual print sizes: 15×15″ – edition of ten, 20×20″ – edition of five, and 30×30″ – edition of three prints (plus three, two, and one Artist Proofs respectively). Print prices are set by the artist and start in each size as follows: 15×15″ – $1,000.00; 20×20″ – $1,500.00; and 30×30″ – $4,000.00. Print prices increase as the edition sells out and are subject to change without prior notice. Please contact Soulcatcher Studio for current pricing information.
Please inquire if you have other favorite images by this artist, as we can offer his entire portfolio of work for sale. Please contact us for complete information.