Emerging artist interviews: Fred Cray

This is the first of a new mini-interview series with the emerging artists featured in our magazine. Each interview will be accompanied by one of the artist's photographs that was featured in our magazine, as well as link to their website.   

1. Tell us about your image:


Fred Cray: This photograph is a multiple exposure image made in camera (with the exception of the text subtly inserted in at the bottom of the photograph) from my Labyrinth series. The Labyrinth images were an extension of travel diary work which was at least a  four or five year project. The underlying premise to all this work was assembling thinking and multiple thoughts into a more succinct form than what usually happens when we summarize our thinking. It assembled literal and metaphorical travel into a different whole.  A lot of the work has a literary quality which comes from my love for and earlier involvement with fiction and poetry.

The Labyrinth images conveyed multiple meanings in a single image, and usually contained multiple sometimes conflicting feelings. There were four exposures to this and all the images. The most pronounced in this is a cartoon image of a radio distress signal, energy shown reaching out over the horizon of the earth.

The second exposure was a self-portrait with blood shot eyes and a face painted green (the green color being somewhat hard to discern). The third exposure was of decorative floral paper my wife had in her belongings.

The fourth exposure shows what looks like small pebbles but what are actually my wife's ashes I had just gotten back and opened that day. She had passed away three or four days before this image was made.

A week or two later I got the film back, scanned it, and added with photoshop the text which reads "there just wasn't any way out". The text has multiple references to dying, to the self,  to the feeling of distress, and to various situations.


2. What type of Energy were you trying to express or capture in this photograph?


F.C.: I was concerned with the energy of distress and the energy of multiple feelings and thoughts. I wanted the energy against the horizon to suggest that this energy is a larger,common one to being on the planet.


3. Why Photography? What about it inspires and excites you?


F.C.: What I love about photography is that so much can be done with it: antique processes like cyanotypes and tintypes, to scanning, to other camera-less images, to 8x10" negative work.  It's a medium with lots of different technical capabilities (not that I'm very concerned with those aspects) and wide range of results and intents by the people using it. Photography can be extremely specific or open to multiple interpretations and mis-interpretations.

4. Our upcoming issue is centered around the theme of 'Fantasy'. What is your fantasy, right now?


F.C.: To escape from everything (it's a fantasy not realistic).


Fred Cray's new series of Unique Photographs are presented at Janet Borden,Inc. The exhibition will be on view through February 15, 2014.



Musée Magazine No. 7 vol.2: energy

Emerging artist interviews: LIONEL ARNAUDIE

Point/Counterpoint: Appropriation.