Building off of his background in theater, film and stand up, artist Jeff Tamblyn applies his experimental approach to photography. Inspired by both the Impressionist and American Expressionist movements, Tamblyn’s painterly images have an intentionally ambiguous tone and a dreamlike quality. Tamblyn's artwork is on display at the Corinth Library until April 21, 2022.
Talk about the work on view. What do you hope to convey to the viewer?
The work I've chosen for this show at Corinth Library includes some of my motion-blur images and 4 pieces from a series called Night Neighborhood. I like to evoke a strong sense of place and atmosphere with the suburban scenes captured in near-darkness. The motion-blur images will convey a specific feeling of energy while softly removing specific details in a way that invite the viewer to fill in the blanks and enter the world of the image on their own terms.
Describe your creative process.
I use the same theory of art as people who paint in the Impressionistic style but with a camera and digital manipulation. I often look for opportunities to capture distinctive moving images and also atmospheric scenes that can be blurred with intentional camera movement [ICM]. Then, the images are processed digitally to enhance certain aspects and remove others. This is a very playful process that often results in dreamlike pictures or narratives that are surreal.
Who are other artists you look to for inspiration? And what about their works do you like?
Impressionists and American Expressionists are my favorite painters, and I suppose I relate more to painters than to photographers in most cases, since my work is unconventional and painterly. I like the way abstraction and partial abstraction suggests ideas to viewers rather than trying to document scenes with specific details. I relate a lot to cinematographers such as Ryszard Lenczewski (Ida) who compose shots with complete story-related intentionality. Gordon Parks is still very inspiring, as is Diane Arbus.
What is your most important artistic tool? Is there something you can’t live without in your studio?
My most important tools are digital devices that allow me to add layers, manipulate forms, colors, light and shadow.
Please list 5-10 books, movies and/or music that currently inspire you.
I've been watching a ton of TV during the pandemic and I'm very much into The Boys, Succession, Rick and Morty, Better Call Saul and His Dark Materials. Fantasy and shows with imaginative storylines seem to stimulate my creativity. The books I read are mostly nonfiction — politics, history and sociology. I highly recommend Sapiens by Yuval Harari, anything by Bill Bryson, and Democracy in Chains by Nancy MacLean.