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David Mahlich: The Surface of Depth

Opening on Friday, September 4th 2015 - 5:00 pm

My main interesting when working with a visual medium is Cinematography: the art of motion picture photography. I believe that to be able to tell a story through the several shots and sequences that make up a film, one must first be able to tell a story in a single image. I see cinematography as my professional calling and photography as my hobby, which allows me to explore and understand the essential building blocks of visual story telling. In my images, I try to tackle grandiloquent themes: the sea, the horizon, the sky, and light itself. As a consequence of this, my style of photographing tends to be very cinematic. The pieces on display in this exhibition are no exception.

Since I decided that I want to become a professional cinematographer, my photographs have become increasingly focused on studying visual structure and visual storytelling. One of the most important aspects to keep in mind while working in a visual medium is that every image one creates is in fact two-dimensional; regardless if it is a photo, a painting, or a film being shown on any kind of screen. For a cinematographer, this means creating a three-dimensional experience of space for the audience that happens within a two-dimensional frame. The pieces on display demonstrate my attempts to explore the different types of space that can be created in any picture: deep, flat, or limited. I try to explore these types of space through the use of composition, perspective, and the relationships between foreground/background and subject/context. Because of this, I have titled this collection of pieces The Surface of Depth. This contradictory title makes a statement about the, in my mind, contradictory nature of images: a picture is only a flat surface, itself has no depth and is two-dimensional, but is able to create the illusion of a physical three-dimensional space for the viewer.

Another common theme reflected in my photographic work is my fascination with nature and the sky. Going out and capturing landscapes and cloud formations is my personal form of meditation. Nowadays, people have become so fixated on looking down into their smartphones or computers that they have forgotten about looking up at the amazing things that can be seen above them. My goal is to remind them of what there missing.

Short biography:

I was born in Dallas, TX, but grew up in Frankfurt, Germany. While growing up, I learnt to play several different instruments and my main interest in life was music. I was, however always fascinated with images and the element of interpretation; creating my own understanding of what I was seeing. When I started at University, my interested shifted toward working with visual mediums: mainly photography and film production. During this time, the operation of a camera was demystified for me and I began to harness the ability to create images of my own. Now, I not posses the ability to not only express myself through sound, but images as well.