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Book Image Not Available
Book details
  • Genre:PHOTOGRAPHY
  • SubGenre:Individual Photographers / Artists’ Books
  • Language:English
  • Series title:Shadow Works of Thomas Vorce
  • Series Number:1
  • Pages:40
  • eBook ISBN:9780615702254

Shadow Works of Thomas Vorce, Volume One

by Thomas Vorce

Book Image Not Available
Overview
Thomas Vorce (1942-2011), a student of Minor White and Paul Caponigro, pioneered fine art computer graphics and digital manipulation. Here are 32 back and white photographs of his "Shadow Works", the first volume in a series of three. Vorce worked on the shadow works until they fulfilled his strategic intention—to make contemplative art. He wanted to move people to see the dance of light and dark as a seductive mystery. He said he hoped his pictures would “make people live more slowly.”
Description
Thomas Vorce (1942-2011), a student of Minor White and Paul Caponigro, pioneered fine art computer graphics and digital manipulation. Here are 32 back and white photographs of his "Shadow Works", the first volume in a series of three. Vorce worked on the shadow works until they fulfilled his strategic intention—to make contemplative art. He wanted to move people to see the dance of light and dark as a seductive mystery. He said he hoped his pictures would “make people live more slowly.”
About the author
When asked how his photographs could be so simultaneously exact and enigmatic, Thomas Vorce said, “Photography has the capacity to do something you don’t expect. There’s a chicanery to it. Either you’ve outwitted it, or it’s outwitted you. Either way, it’s magical.” During his last years, Vorce tangled with one of the toughest topics. By relying on shadows to depict his subjects he crafted images hinting at mysterious, hidden dramas—appearing as though the protagonists had just left the scene. Born in Hollywood in 1942, he died in 2011; his life had been an artist’s adventure. He never knew his father, who died in World War II. Vorce grew up in the prosperous Detroit suburb of Bloomfield Hills where his stepfather was a designer for prominent architects. Vorce attended the elite Cranbrook School nearby, where he was recalled as being the nonchalant “artist in the class.” After graduating from Western Michigan University, he travelled throughout the United States, visited Brazil, and enjoyed an idyllic sojourn at Oxford where he audited classes, passed the time “smoking Gauloises, drinking red wine, and watching the sun set on the English countryside.” By then he had adopted his mother’s family name since few could handle his surname (Handloser). In the decades between Oxford and these pictures, Vorce led many lives. He joined the army, worked communications jobs in New York, got married and divorced. He also apprenticed with photography masters Minor White and Paul Caponigro—whose images he saw as “miraculous.” Vorce moonlighted as the narrator for audio westerns, published a free newspaper and got involved in ecological projects. He was a prolific poet who wrote a poem for every state in the Union. During the ‘90s, he DJ’d a late night jazz show on Santa Fe radio. He pioneered fine art computer graphics, manipulating multiple software programs to produce complex digital color compositions. He had a flair for original geometric abstraction, with touches of psychedelia and futurism. Without a gallery, Vorce found self-promotion hard to realize, especially with his waning health. His work began to gather attention on the internet when disaster struck: a fire broke out in his studio and destroyed the majority of his digital files (which he had never backed up). The greater part of fifteen years of work went up in smoke. Then came the final blow. In 2007, because of his acute emphysema, he was told he had six months to live. Soon after his prognosis, Vorce grimly made plans for his suicide. Fortunately, his hospice nurse and her team intervened. They filled his countless cups of high-octane espresso, dispensed hundreds of pills, and drove him to some of the shadowy New Mexico sights enshrined here. They helped him create art well beyond his time. Vorce worked on the shadow works past his feeble endurance until they fulfilled his strategic intention—to make contemplative art. He wanted to move people to see the dance of light and dark as a seductive mystery. He said he hoped his pictures would “make people live more slowly.” Hospice workers report that a dire diagnosis may open up the dying to themselves. Freed from the poses they inhabit and the roles expected of them, they are free to contemplate, and grow into themselves. Such were the deeper feelings available to Vorce after decades of introspective expression. He was carried away by the early Christian mystics—Saint John of the Cross, Santa Teresa de Avila—and by the 20th century Trappist Monk, Thomas Merton. In a hand so shaky it’s hard to follow, Vorce underlined this sentence from Merton’s autobiography, "The Sign of Jonas": "Perhaps one of the functions of the contemplative is to help other people, by word or merely by example, to become aware of how capable they are of loving God—or perhaps how much they already love Him without knowing it."
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