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What a privilege to be invited back to the Lishui Photo Festival this year.  I was invited to go previously in 2013, with 7 other American photographers (read about our adventures here).  This time I was invited on my own, to accompany my Skeleton in the Closet show, and to give a lecture.

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The Lishui Museum of Photography had shown Skeleton in the Closet in January of this year; they were kind enough to submit it to the festival as well, and it was accepted.  They showed 58 of the 75 pieces in the series, which looked great on the wall, translated into Chinese.

So along with thousands of other photographers and art enthusiasts, I came to Lishui for 6 days.

First pleasant surprise of the week: spending time with fellow Portlander Laura Valenti (of Photolucida).  We had a great time walking, talking, and photographing the city together.

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It was nice to have a fellow photographer who could also double as a model….

 

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Always nice to find yourself in the paper. Here, we’re with a well-known Celadon potter, who welcomed us into his show, and his shop (we also saw him in 2013).

In addition to the Skeleton in the Closet show, I also helped organize a second exhibition.  The 8 American photographers who were there in 2013 (me, Heidi Kirkpatrick, Jim Leisy, Susan Kae Grant, Bill Vaccaro, Clay Lipsky, Barbara Ciurej, and Ryan Zoglin) took a lot of pictures (of course), and we were able to show 5 images each in the 2015 Festival.

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With photographs I took in Lishui in 2013.

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Xueke Wang (Isabella) watches the opening performance.


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That is one fabulous opening to a show; my work was through that door….

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The catalog for the festival was massive, and very nicely produced.

 

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After my lecture, in which everyone in the room took my picture several times, I paused and took their picture as well. (My hardworking interpreter, Dongli, is on the left.)

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Always fun to feel like a celebrity for a little while.

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Celebrating with curators, photographers, and interpreters after my lecture.

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The best meal, hands down, in China was on a little excursion we took to Longquan. Laura says this looks like a Holly Andres photo.

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With Isabella, the curator who worked so hard to bring my work to China.

And finally, a few images I shot on the street around Lishui:

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PIX

My good friends at Lensbaby asked me to speak at the PIX event in Seattle in the fall. It was an amazing event, with speakers on all aspects of photography, plus a live-streamed expo, conference & interactive photo playground.

I spoke on “The Art of the Fine Art Portrait,” which they professionally filmed. Check it out here!

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National Geographic Astra Velum 7-15

I think it must be every photographer’s dream to have their work featured by National Geographic.  And that dream came true for me this week.

National Geographic recently contacted me, asking for in interview about my work. We had a great conversation about the genesis of this project, how I tend to work, the art of making photogravures, and more.  The result is today’s feature on their website: an article about my series Astra Velum, and the thought and process behind it.

My favorite part? The comments on their blog about the work. This one from Abigail pretty much sums them up:

I’ve always been shy because of my freckles – I have them all over my face, arms, shoulders and back. When I was young they were much darker and obvious, I’ve been teased and bullied so many times. Thank you for making me feel less self-conscious about them!

This kind of response makes my work that much more rewarding. It’s one thing to make work that I enjoy creating; it’s quite another to see it make a positive impact in the world.

Kendra

Beauty is only skin deep. But ah! me; freckles go to the bone.

~Mark Twain

Astra Velum, an exhibition of photogravures by Fritz Liedtke, finds beauty in what many view as imperfection, exploring faces filled with freckles and scars. In these works Liedtke finds an exquisite gorgeousness, as he says, “overlaid upon us like a thin veil of stars.”

Liedtke’s Astra Velum is a series of photogravures: intaglio prints created in a printmaking studio. These moody, luminescent prints truly must be seen to be appreciated. This show includes new work in the series, not shown before.

Join us for the show at Oregon Statue University’s Fairbanks Gallery:

April 6-29, 2015

Opening Reception: April 8, 4:30-5:30pm

Fairbanks Gallery

Oregon State University

220 SW 26th Street

Corvallis, Oregon

Click here for more information.

Skeleton in the Closet Anorexia Bulimia

The Lishui Photography Museum, in Lishui, China, just finished showing 60 images and stories from the Skeleton in the Closet series. The staff there translated all the texts for this solo show, which viewers found very moving. They also featured an 8 page article in one of China’s premier photography magazines.

You can view more of the work (in English…) on the website, or by purchasing a copy of the book on Amazon.

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I was pleased to learn that the Suzzallo Special Collection at University of Washington recently added my altered book Faerie Queene to their collection.  Many thanks to the wonderful Laura Russell at 23 Sandy Gallery for helping them make the addition!  This altered book consists of a carved book, painted endpapers, platinum print photograph, ink, tarlatan, text.

 

 

York

Several photogravures from the Astra Velum series were juried in to the Alternative Processes show at SoHo Photo, in New York City.  Geoffrey Berliner, Executive Director and co-developer of the Penumbra Foundation, was juror for the show.

After viewing the show, Roger Thompson, senior editor of Don’t Take Pictures, had this to say about my work:

Liedtke’s portraits demanded attention. Small photogravures, they’re portraits of young faces that manage to both yearn outward and pull inward. I frankly can’t get the eyes of “Asia” out of my head. These are works where the process not simply supports the subject of the imagery, but animates it. The clarity, the intensity, and the sure lines of the features remind us that photogravure is not simply the process for the fantastical or ethereal as it seems to have become today (think the ParkeHarrisons), it also allows a measured precision and texture that is hard to replicate. It’s almost impossible to imagine a silver gelatin print representing the freckled skin of Fritz’s “York” with such complete richness and honesty. If Liedtke can pull a photogravure like “Asia” and “York,” one wonders how other artists might reclaim and remake lost processes, and the exhibition, like other process exhibitions, helps us imagine what all we’ve left behind when we turn toward contemporary printing.

Read the full article, and see other stunning images from other artists, here: http://www.donttakepictures.com/dtp-blog/2014/11/30/alternative-process-soho-photo

 

Mural painting in rural Guatemala with a team of artists, and with Yolanda.

Mural painting in rural Guatemala with a team of artists, and with Yolanda.

2014 was a busy year for art and artmaking. I started off the year teaching art in Italy for 3 months, and ended it painting murals in Guatemala.

Mural painting in Guatemala really was a new venture. I’ve painted, and I’ve photographed, but I’ve never taken one of my photographs, turned it into a mural design, and painted it 9 feet tall on a hospital wall. In Guatemala, I did this 7 times, sometimes 30 feet up in the air!

My friends and I were working in a children’s hospital in rural Guatemala. Children are brought there severely malnourished, and often with serious disabilities. (The girl featured above, Yolanda, was both severely malnourished, had Type 1 Diabetes, and is deaf and mute. But she’s also wonderful.) The amazing people at the Hope of Life Hospital nurse them back to health at no cost to the families, and send them home with education and food to help prevent further problems.

We wanted to create images that inspired hope, and created a welcoming environment, for these traumatized children and their parents. The results were surprising even to us, and everyone was very pleased.

The friendly folks at La Fototeca in Guatemala City.

The friendly folks at La Fototeca in Guatemala City. (That’s my photo on the wall, behind my head!)

While in Guatemala, I took an afternoon to drop in on my friends at La Fototeca. The work they do bringing top-notch photography to Guatemala City is really impressive. And their open-armed welcome made me feel like a rock star!

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Thanks to Yan Li, who represents my work at High Noon Gallery in Beijing, China, the Astra Velum series was juried in to the 2014 Shanghai International Exhibition of Photography.  As Yan explains,

Thousands of photographers from China and oversea get together and participate in the show. More than 100 artists’ work are presented to the audience of Shanghai people and photographers from around the world. High Noon Fine Art presented five American  artists’  portfolios: Debora Schwedhelm, Fritz Liedtke, Heidi Kirkpatrick, J. Scriba, and Susan Kae Grant.

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photo (1)The Haggerty Museum of Art is currently showing “Scrutiny After the Glimpse,” which includes two of my photogravure portraits from the Astra Velum series.

Depicting the human form has been a primary focus of artists since the beginning of recorded engagement. Looking at a portrait or figure painting has usually been thought to be an isolated occasion with a finite meaning. This exhibition of paintings, drawings, prints, and sculpture from the Haggerty’s permanent collection explores the potential of these objects to evince multiple meanings based on context and proximity to other works.

View the show at the Haggerty now through August 3, 2014, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Learn more about the show here.

 

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