Artists Statement

My work centers largely on the state of human existence and the cross-cultural similarities that can be seen as a common unifying thread. The greatest universality that I find is shared by people around the world is Love. I devote my work to exposing that fact in the midst of the seemingly more chaotic times that this civilization is experiencing.

Photography is a uniquely suited tool for documentation of both the environment and the emotional state of a human subject in particular. My black and white work is inspired by such artists as Penn, Arbus, Cartier-Bresson, Hine, Salgado and Capa. Scrupulous attention to each individual that faced their lens is what speaks so vividly to me in their images. Capturing the fleeting momentary glimpses of life they solidify them for all to share and relate to.

I moved to USA in 1994 from Moscow, Russia at the age of 16 while the fall of the Soviet Union was still wreaking havoc on the country. The drastic change of environment made me more aware of myself and others as Global Citizens. I became aware of the artificial nature of international borders as compared to the unifying beauty of the drama of our species.  Since then I have been devoting my time to creating imagery that I hope will bring a sense of unity to the viewers – whether it be through a straight portrait of a passer-by or a still life taken out of the urban setting context that surrounds us all at this stage of human evolution.

I chose to work using analog means of image creation.  I believe there is a certain intrinsic beauty that is contained in every hand-made print.  Knowing that I am faced with a print that had been created via manual means and took time and expertise to create gives me a feeling of a more direct connection with the artist.  I don’t believe that a portrait can capture the soul of the person in it – rather I strongly believe that in every hand-made image, be it an oil painting or a gelatin silver photograph, there remains something from the soul of its creator.  I respect the devotion paid to this craft by the previous generations and hope to perpetuate the tradition of darkroom printing well into the 21st century through my educational efforts.

Anton Orlov

Abbreviated Artist History

   Anton started his love affair with the photographic medium early on in his life.  While still living in Russia at the age of 12 he learned the craft of printing his own images using his grandfathers primitive darkroom equipment.  He would spend his allowance money on film and paper to capture his classmates’ images using a Smena 8 camera and then lock himself away overnight in the only bathroom in his parents Moscow apartment to emerge in the morning with a stack of prints, which he would joyfully give away to his friends later that day.

  After immigrating to United States he earned his photography A.A. from Palomar College in San Marcos, CA and later a B.F.A. degrees from San Jose State University school of Art and Design.  Working as a photographer for various businesses since 1998 Anton has learned portraiture, still-life and other aspects of commercial photography.  He had also enjoyed teaching photography to a wide range of audiences, from middle school kids to college students and in one-on-one classes in his San Diego 6-enlarger darkroom.

Antons love of travel lead him to the far reaches of the world.  From Nepal to Guatemala Anton dragged his over-sized camera bag stuffed with on average 7 film cameras in order to capture human condition as he found it.  Currently he is traveling the country in a converted 35ft school bus, the rear 12ft of which have been turned into a full-size darkroom.  The Photo Palace Bus, as it is known, has been a personal dream of Antons since 1997, when he was inspired by seeing a similar vehicle equipped with a glass-blowing studio in Oregon.  You can find more information about that unique project at http://thephotopalace.blogspot.com

Publications

2000 – Nikon’s Best of College Photography annual

2001 – Photographer’s Forum Magazine, Spring issue, portfolio section

2002 – Madison Review Magazine, University of Wisconsin, Vol. 24 # 1

2005 – Light Leak Magazine, San Jose State University, San Jose CA

2006 – Nikon’s Best of College Photography annual

2006 – Reed Magazine, San Jose State University

2011 – Hidden Alcatraz, UC Press

 

Selected Exhibits

1999

• Del Mar Fair International Student Photography Exhibit, Del Mar CA

2000

• Des Nudos, two-person alternative processes exhibit, Tijuana Mexico

2001

• Best of Show in photography, Off Track gallery, Encinitas CA

2002

• Alternative Photographic Techniques exhibit, Gallery Now, Lemon Grove CA

2003            

• Open Galleries participant, Palo Alto CA

• Double Vision, solo exhibit, SJSU student gallery

• Zen Body, solo exhibit, SJSU student gallery

2004

• American Values, juried exhibition at SJSU

• Play First, interactive ceramics exhibit, SJSU student gallery

• Self, group exhibit by SJSU Photo guild

• Holy Snapshots, solo exhibit, SJSU student gallery

2005

• Re…, ceramics, photography and serigraphy, solo exhibit, SJSU student gallery

• What Inspires, juried exhibition at SJSU

• I Ching Moods, serigraphy, solo exhibit, SJSU student gallery

• Alcatraces, group exhibit by Photo Alliance, Crissy Field Ctr., San Francisco CA

2006

• Preface, SCU Visual Arts Society juried exhibit, Phantom Galleries, San Jose CA

• 70 SX-70s and other works by Anton, solo exhibit, SJSU student gallery

• City, BFA solo exhibit, SJSU student gallery

• Alternative Energy, group show by the SJSU Photo Guild

2007

Small Works, Brunswick Street Gallery, Brunswick, Australia

2008

World Photos,  International Cultural Center, Komamoto Japan

2012

Lo-Fi, Gallery 13, Asbury Park, NJ