Robert Welsh, Boccie Ball, Prague
With his classic use of light and tone while documenting interesting subjects … Robert Welsh is a photographer worth knowing:
1. What is your statement as an artist to your viewers?
Growing up working class in Boston and then having the opportunity to travel to Europe and the Middle East allowed me to appreciate different cultures and showed me other perspectives. I often see through a child’s perspective, informed by my experiences as a stay-at home dad and my work in special education. I invite the viewer to share in my observations, hoping to elicit a feeling. I also encourage the viewer to interpret the photograph through his or her filter, recalling a memory, a dream, or personal story. I would hope that my images enable an individual to slow down, take a second look, and reflect for a moment.
2. Your images have a moody feel to them, how did this "feel" come about?
Much of my work has working class elements to it. I react to this theme on an emotional and subconscious level, and I believe that this translates into a certain feeling in the imagery. When I print, I try to recreate the mood at the time the picture was taken. It is important for me to continue to print my work using traditional methods. I feel that the final act of creating in photography takes place in the darkroom.
3. You work in B&W and color. When do you prefer B&W?
My decision as to whether I work in color or B&W depends largely on the weather. I usually prefer B&W on an overcast day because of the mood and light it creates. Color has a more immediate impact on the viewer. Removing the color forces the viewer to look deeper and appreciate the emotional impact of the image or story, allowing things to resonate. When photographing in B&W, one must have a well-trained eye to look beyond and eliminate the color that we see in everyday situations. When I work in B&W, I
respond to the subtlety of the tones and the sculptural quality of the object I am photographing. I concentrate on the highlights in the shadows-the details, textures and shapes.
4. What is your next project?
I hope to return to the Public Housing Project where I grew up in Boston-to photograph the buildings, hallways, rooftops, and basketball courts where I played as a child. I want to interview my friends who also grew up there, to photograph them in their old environment, and talk about our experiences.
For more of Robert’s work: Robert Welsh