Landscape Process Statement
Before I began dedicating myself full-time to my personal work, I spent 40 years in the world of commercial photography. The majority of my clients were advertising agencies and graphic design firms. My photographic focus was on corporate offices, factories, oil refineries, and aerospace companies, all of which had dark, bustling manufacturing facilities. I soon realized that my job title wasn’t just “photographer.” I was, in essence, a problem solver. During those initial years, I developed a unique style that, with the aid of artificial lighting, allowed me to see beyond the chaos and create photographs that leaned more towards design than instantly recognizable objects. I worked with whatever was at hand – all those mundane things that most people walk past without noticing. I discovered great imagery in graphic shapes, repeating patterns like those on ceilings lit by unattractive fluorescent lights or rows of desks and chairs. It was about creating opportunities rather than stumbling upon them.
I became known as the photographer who could venture into challenging environments and return with exceptional results (a mixed blessing). Graphis Magazine once quoted me: “It’s amazing how much time I spend on lighting just to make things appear dark enough.” That was absolutely true! Once I overcame that particular challenge, I could explore subjects with genuine potential and enhance their appearance. However, I retained the same thought process and the same eye, always searching for and enhancing graphic qualities. (I owe a special shout-out to my mentor, Arnold Newman, and the works of Piet Mondrian and Edward Hopper.)
Now, let’s shift to my current focus – landscapes. Although I don’t have the same degree of control I had in the world of advertising, I find that it offers something different, and in some ways, even more. Or perhaps I should say, it offers something unique. What I’ve discovered is that I can bring the same vision I applied to my commercial work into my landscape photography. In fact, I don’t think I really had a choice. The work I produce today is 100% influenced by my experience working for clients. I see the world through the same lens, and after over 40 years of creating photographs, it would be foolish to attempt a drastic change now. I trust that what I’ve learned works. I’ve even introduced artificial light into my landscape work!
Simple shapes, graphic lines, the removal of clutter, and the use of light when necessary – these principles continue to guide my work.
Over the years, Jeff Corwin has taken photos out of a helicopter, in jungles, on oil rigs and an aircraft carrier. Assignments included portraits of famous faces and well-known corporations. After 40+ years as a commercial photographer, Corwin turned his discerning eye to fine art photography.
He carried his same vision forward, to see past the clutter and create photographs grounded in design. Simplicity, graphic forms, and configurations that repeat are what personally resonate. Trusting his vision is important to Corwin. He does not second-guess elements like composition or content. Humble shapes, and graphic lines. Eliminate clutter. Light when necessary. Repeat.
Corwin’s recent and upcoming exhibitions include Holter Museum of Art, Helena, MT; #Art on Screen/Big Screen Plaza, New York, NY; West Charleston Library Gallery, Las Vegas, NV; Griffin Museum of Photography, Winchester, MA; Cedarburg Art Museum, Cedarburg, WI; Graphica Creativa 2022 Triennial, Jyväskylä Art Museum, Jyväskylä, Finland; Northwest Montana Museum of Art, Kalispell, MT; International Art Museum of America, San Francisco, CA; High Desert Museum, Bend, OR; Summerlin Library Gallery, Las Vegas, NV; Colorida Galeria del Arte, Lisbon, Portugal; SITE Santa Fe, Santa Fe, NM; Masur Museum, Monroe, LA; Museum of Flight, Seattle, WA; Attleboro Arts Museum, Attleboro, MA; Echo Arts, Bozeman, MT; NYU Tandon School of Engineering / Integrated Design and Media: Art in the Wild; DragonFLY Creative Space, Chicago, IL; Contemporary Art Center of Peoria, IL. Media attention – radio interviews and publications – include LandEscape Art Review, Aji, Art Reveal, MVIBE, All About Photo, Magazine 43, FOTO Cult, and F-Stop.
Gallery representation: Courtney Collins Fine Art, Big Sky, Montana; Stapleton Gallery, Billings, Montana; Echo Arts, Bozeman, Montana; Art Spirit Gallery, Coeur d’Alene, Idaho; and Stewart Gallery, Boise, Idaho.