Statement of Amy Dienes
I have cared for photography since I was a child, encouraged by my father, whose portrait is among the works in this show. I began photographing seriously when working as a registered nurse with an ophthalmologist doing research that included photography of the retina of the eye.
I came to love the whole process of photography: from framing in the viewfinder and pressing the shutter, to developing the film and watching the print come up in the developer. My photography has evolved from black and white and a traditional wet darkroom, to digital color from computer and inkjet printer.
In 1971 I studied with photographers Nancy Starrels and Lou Bernstein, both of whose classes were based on Aesthetic Realism. They taught me that photographic technique is always a situation of opposites from start to finish--the same opposites I wanted to put together in myself. This was a revelation! Soon after, I requested to study in classes taught by Eli Siegel, and my life changed as I received a tremendous education about art, literature, economics, medicine, and my self.
When Mr. Siegel writes, "Photography showed something that was beautiful about the world: that there was a oneness between light and dark," he is describing its very essence. This is what I am excited by as I photograph--how light and shade define and reveal the drama of a scene or object. And this education continues in stirring conversations with my husband, poet and photographer, Louis Dienes.
And I'm continuing to learn about the exciting drama in things in classes taught by Ellen Reiss, the Class Chairman, and from discussions in the Critical Inquiry workshop for artists taught by Dorothy Koppelman. Once, my interest in things was, at best, intermittent. Now, as I look out the window of an airplane, walk along a New York City street, ride in a car on a country road, or study a flower, I see the opposites are there, and everything has more meaning for me.
- AD, 2009