Brian Buckley’s Cyanotypes as Masterful Marine Mythologies

Posted on June 02, 2017 by Alison Pierz

What a cool way to start the summer! Last night we attended the opening of Brian Buckley’s “Ghost Ship” at ClampArt gallery in Chelsea. We provided the framing using white maple mouldings, museum board, Japanese paper hinges with rice paste for floating the work and museum glass. The art was delivered by our collaborative partners at Art Delivery Van.

Brian Buckley cyanotype photography archival framing
One of Brian Buckley's cyanotype prints in the studio

Buckley is an artist whose process is dedicated to analog methods of photography and printing, a rarity in this age of digital imagery. His choice of cyanotypes for the work in “Ghost Ship” feels appropriate to the artist’s themes of Greek Mythology and his own experiences of the sea. Cyanotype is a nineteenth century process that predates silver gelatin photographic printing and which produces images in distinctive shades of blue. Buckley’s process involves mixing his own photosensitive chemicals and applying them in layers to watercolor paper. He uses a variety of brushes, sponges and even glass rods for his applications. The layers of chemicals contribute to the intended end result. He then uses large format negatives in combination with photogram techniques – placing objects directly onto the photosensitive paper - to produce the desired image.

Brian Buckley cyanotype photographic prints archival framing
One of the "Ghost Ship" prints being hinged 

Objects represented in “Ghost Ship” include: octopuses, rope, boats, bits of statuary and water. Buckley is fascinated by the sea itself and longs to be a mariner. This current body of work explores that fascination with the deep and loosely references Homer’s “Odyssey”, sirens, sea monsters and the like. Buckley’s impressive career includes a foundation scholarship to Parsons School of Design, working under master printer Ira Mandelbaum at Ken Taranto Photo Lab and working with photographer Sheila Metzner. He has been published in Fotomagazin, Germany, The Photo Review and New York Magazine among others.

Buckley has exhibited internationally and is a collaborating artist at Adam Fuss Studio. We are so lucky to have Brian as our neighbor here at the Clemente and excited to be a part of his success!

Artist Brian Buckley with Erick from Frames and Stretchers
at the opening of "Ghost Ship"

Posted in #Brian Buckley, #cyanotype, #Frames and Stretchers, #photography