MITCH DOBROWNER, WINNER OF THE BIENNIAL'S GRANT, EDITION SEPTEMBER 2017
Please scroll down to see the statement and images of Mitch's Project
"Growing up on Long Island (Bethpage), NY – I felt lost in my late teens. Worried about my future direction in life, my father gave me an old Argus rangefinder to fool around with. Little did he realize what an important gesture that would turn out to be for me.
After doing some research and seeing the images of Minor White and Ansel Adams I quickly became addicted to photography. To make a long story short, I left home at 21, quitting my job, leaving my friends and family to see the American Southwest for myself. In California I eventually met my wife, and together we had 3 children, and created our own design studio - and the tasks of running a business and raising a family took a priority to Photography. During that time I stopped taking pictures. Years later, in early 2005, inspired by my wife, children and friends - I again picked up my cameras. Today I see myself on a passionate mission to make up for years of lost time - creating images that help evoke how I see our wonderful planet. I feel that I owe much to the great photographers of the past, especially Ansel Adams, for their dedication to the craft and for inspiring me in my late teens. Though I have never met them, their inspiration helped me determine the course my life would take. I live with my wife Wendy, my son Joshua, our dog Jet and our bratty cat Jax in Studio City, California."
Project Statement, Storms
The images produced in this series represent a project which started as only an experiment in the summer of 2009Growing up on Long Island, NY I've always loved being caught in thunderstorms. The memories of the rain, lightning and thunder have always been branded into my brain. Many years later I began to photograph a series of images that visualised those memories.Each trip into Tornado Alley is an adventure. Over the last 8 yearsI’ve traveled over 150,000 miles and have visited (at least count)17 states. When I first went out I didn’t realize that Kansas was even next to Colorado, or that Nebraska and South Dakota were neighbours. I had no idea. Seeing the Midwest and our CentralStates…. the small, tight knit communities that make up a majority of the United States has also been a revelation me. The images presented speak more about me and the subject more than I can ever describe through words. The pictures truly evoke what I feel on the inside about our planet. The storms and landscapes here on Earth deserve our respect and admiration. Their stature and prominence overwhelm and amaze me. Though many relate *storms* to destruction and fear what I experience is their beauty. Thus, my objective is to capture these amazing phenomenon’s in a manner that I see them and does them that justice. The changes in our society and its outlook towards today's art and contemporary artists... and the effect that all the imagery and information accessible to us which can be overwhelming. But *art* still represents a quiet place, a place that can inspire and allow people to get back in touch with themselves and their priorities; that Art still has an intrinsic value and as with music it is a staple and foundational piece of society that has been a part of us since the beginning of mankind. It's important that art continues to evolve and inspire and that the vision for black & white landscape photography not end with Ansel Adams, Minor White or Edward Weston; that the torch continues to be passed from generation to generation. We need photographers/artists to continue with Ansel’s initial vision. I want the images presented to inspire our next generation of photographers and artists to continue in that spirit.