During a brief stint in public relations, Yuma’s Tanya Flemister fell in love with the imaging process. She moved to Los Angeles to attend the Art Center College of Design, where she was exposed not only to prominent artists, but also to top designers from all disciplines. After graduating, she began a successful career in the world of commercial product photography, after which she turned to documentary and fine art photography.
Flemister’s art exhibition, titled “Anti-Photography”, runs through December 5 at the orphanage, 300 S. Main St. in Yuma.
The world’s first photograph was taken by a French scientist in 1826. As a new way of seeing the world, photography could capture fleeting images, light and movement with rapidity. When Flemister talks about photography, she brings up some intriguing ideas about the interface of photography and painting in the mid-1800s. Tanya points to Impressionist painters to reinforce the idea. that the invention of photography enabled the artist to paint simple impressions of subjects rather than depicting the world in detail. After the introduction of photography, painters allowed themselves to experiment with various ways of creating images with as little detail as possible. Eventually, painting became more about paint and canvas, as evidenced by the works of Jackson Pollock.
Inspired by 20th century painters, Flemister created his anti-photography series and said that abstract expressionist Mark Rothko had a great influence. He is best known for his large scale color field paintings which are distinguished by pure properties such as color, area, proportion and scale. In these paintings, Rothko explores the potential of contrasts and modulations of colors.
Flemister said the creation of the entire work in his exhibition is a response to the constant flood of mental images and sounds people are subjected to on a daily basis.
“Peace can be found in the world and in oneself, but only if it is sought,” she said. “There is a stillness in nature that is seldom felt when one can hear snowflakes falling around them or feel the cool mist of the fog moisten one’s skin. I stripped the imagery to a minimum, freeing the viewer’s mind from almost any detail, in an anti-photography sense. I try to consume the viewer and offer him a moment of peace.
The opening hours of the exhibition are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesday to Saturday, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, closed Monday.