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 Maggie Taylor  (1961 - )

About: Maggie Taylor
 

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Lived/Active: Florida/Ohio      Known for: landscape and still-life photography

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Biography from a third party submitted on 11/11/2012:
Maggie Taylor was born in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1961, and graduated from Yale University in 1983 with a BA in philosophy. In 1987 she received an MFA in photography from the University of Florida. During this time her work evolved from black-and-white suburban landscapes to more personal and narrative color still-life imagery.

Using an old 4x5 view camera and natural light, she photographed bits and pieces of the everyday: old toys, broken bottles, and animals from the garden. Since 1987 her still-life photographs have been exhibited in more that 60 one-person exhibitions throughout the U.S. In 1996 and 2001 she received State of Florida Individual Artist's Fellowships.

Her current images explore the use of a computer and a flatbed scanner in place of a camera. By placing objects directly on the glass top of the scanner she is able to create a unique type of digital image which has some photographic qualities.

Artist Statement, 2012:
For more than six years now I have been using a flatbed scanner instead of a traditional camera to record and interpret the objects I collect. I frequent flea markets and search on eBay for old tintypes and toys that seem to have a story to tell. Then in my studio I make small pastel drawings as backgrounds and scan each element into my computer separately. Using Photoshop I am able to arrange and play with these layers in much the same way that I worked with objects in my studio for a still life photograph. I work very spontaneously and intuitively, trying to come up with images that have a resonance and a somewhat mysterious narrative content. There is no one meaning for any of the images, rather they exist as a kind of visual riddle or open-ended poem, meant to be both playful and provocative.

Although my images are not traditional photographs, I definitely think of my scanner as a light-sensitive recording device. And there is a camera involved in making most of the images, it just happens that the camera was used over 100 years ago by a photographer who remains anonymous. Sometimes people are confused about my digital images and think that they are somehow reproductions of work that exists originally in some other form. I think of them as "digital originals" since they are created in my computer using a scanner and they do not exist on film.

I do not photograph people, I am recycling 19th century unclaimed photographs of unknown people. Every once in a while I use a 35 mm point-and-shoot camera to collect bits of background material. When the image is finally done, which is a slow process and can take weeks or even months, I start to make proofs and then finished prints in editions of 40. My final prints are made on an Epson inkjet printer on a paper that gives the texture and look of a print or watercolor.

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