Ralph Stout (Photography)
I have been, in turn, a lapsed graduate student in mathematics, a computer programmer and consultant, an inventor (see, for example, United States Patent 5590319), the president of a computer animation company, the chief scientist of a software firm, and a participant in at least two ill-fated high-tech startup ventures. The purpose of my daytime activities over the years has been to support my family while pursuing a nocturnal career as a painter and a photographer, and I have succeeded after a fashion. But, while I have always managed to set aside a certain amount of time for painting and photography, I have never had the time to bring my work to the attention of others. That is what I am now trying to do.
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These slightly off-kilter cityscapes, taken in the back streets and alleyways of my newly adopted home town of Hudson, New York between 2005 and 2008, reflect some of the most unusual architectural features and jarring contrasts that Hudson has in abundance. Hudson strikes me as a cross between a Grandma Moses painting and a tableau from the brush of a Joan Sloan or a George Luks. The main drag, lined with freshly renovated vintage buildings, is postcard material. The back streets reflect decades of neglect. I was drawn at once to the gray area that lies between prosperous Warren Street and neighboring Diamond (now Columbia) Street, which in years past housed the speakeasies and bordellos that kept this place going. I did not set out to depict the remarkable Hudson renaissance, or indeed, its persistent squalor – I am an abstractionist at heart. Still, despite earnest attempts to distance these images from their referents, I appear to have done quite the opposite. Photography is full of surprises, almost all of them unpleasant, but in the present case, things worked out very well. I give the town of Hudson credit for that. There is something about its character that shines through no matter how you look at it.
-- Ralph Stout, 2009
Home Town: Limited edition Portfolio of 20 archival pigment prints signed by Ralph Stout
Paper size: 6 x 8 inch photographs are mounted on 11 x 14 artists paper
Presented in a black clamshell box
These photographs are also available individually