From September to October 2nd, 2019, the Galerie GADCOLLECTION, dedicates, for the first time in France an exhibition to one of the important american photographers: Maggie TAYLOR. After a first part of her career focusing on still life, Maggie Taylor has extended her work by manipulating digital pictures and is considered as a pioneer in the field of digital arts. Her work has taken accents of painting linked to dreamlands and fantastic universes close to Rene Magritte and Lewis Carroll.
CulturActu met her in Paris. Interview.
When you were a child, did you like fairy tales ? Which one did you prefer and why ?
I do not recall much about fairy tales when I was small. I liked to read, particularly science fictionstories. I also liked television series like Star Trek, The Brady Bunch, and The Mary Tyler Moore Show....
When and how did you get the idea to mix photos with Photoshop ?
When the people from Adobe asked my husband at that time, Jerry Uelsmann, to use Photoshop to make an image for them for a poster campaign, I was able to test out the program. I realized there was a lot that I could do with it even though I did not have a digital camera at that time. I could use a scanner to import all kinds of old photos and objects and play with them on the screen. It was like being like a child with a doll house full of people and furniture that I could move around. I loved it right away.
Is Photoshop, in your opinion, the best solution for an artist, to express his creativity and his freedom ?
I do not think any one medium is better than another one. Creativity can bloom in a lot of different ways: writing a poem, singing a song, dancing a dance, making a sculpture. Photography is the most influential medium of the past 150 years in my opinion, but that does not mean it is the right vehicle for every artist. Photoshop is a new twist on photography and takes it to a new - and different - level. To me, there is still something wonderful about traditional photography and the way that images are anchored to a particular point in time.
How and where do you find your inspiration to create an artistic work ?
Most of the time, I simply have to start to work. Like a writer keeping a journal, or sitting at a desk every morning to write a chapter. I have to sit at my computer and manipulate images. Many times I am excited about an old photograph I have found and want to scan it and play with it.
How much time do you need for one creation ?
Usually it takes 3-5 or 6 weeks to finish an image. But sometimes I work on 2 or 3 things at about the same time. There have been some that stay in my computer for 6 months or more before I know what to do with them.
Your photos are similar to paintings and to artists like Magritte. Is he your prefered painter ?
There are many artists I admire, and not all are ones that you would easily see in my work. Walker Evans, Robert Frank, Dali, Magritte, Frida Kahlo, Man Ray.....I love museums and recently I have been making an effort to photograph more in museums and use bits and pieces in my work. I studied art history in college and love to revive those feelings of looking at wonderful paintings.
What are your projects ?
I finished a project of 64 images for Through the Looking-glass by Lewis Carroll in 2018 and published that as a book with the original text. Now, I am moving on with other images that are whatever I find intriguing at the moment. I am often influenced by everyday things...family, news media, friends, plants in the garden.....it is always hard to know what direction to take.
Galerie GADCOLLECTION 4, rue du Pont Louis Philippe 75004 Paris
Published on 18th september 2019