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Paul Rider

Paul Rider is a Philadelphia based artist having earned his BFA in Photography from Philadelphia College of Art, Philadelphia, PA., (now University of the Arts), and his MFA in Photography from Savannah College of Art & Design, Savannah, GA.

Working in discrete series, Rider creates his imagery by constructing still life in the studio utilizing found objects and also through the use of abstract and documentary photographic styles. One compelling theme that has driven his work, is the interface and struggle between nature and manmade urban culture.

In 2008-2010, he was a fellow at the Center for the Emerging Visual Artist in Philadelphia, PA. He was one of the founding members of the photographic cooperative Level 3 in Philadelphia, PA., where he also served as exhibition curator/coordinator. He has taught photography at the university level since 2003. Rider'sphotographs have been exhibited in Europe and throughout the United States in museums, university and commercial galleries, and at various visual art centers. In 2021 Rider was a finalist in Fresh 2021, Fresh Annual Photography at Klompching Gallery, NYC.

Artist Statement

Plastic is the miracle invention to make our lives more livable and modern. It offers many conveniences to how we purchase our goods, package our goods, and even create some of the goods we buy. However, it is here to stay. Unlike the natural material that we used in the past for these items, plastics take hundreds of years to break down their components and become part of the ecosystem - it is oil and chemicals bonded together to be durable and permanent. We continue to manufacture more and more of this material. It swims in our oceans, sits in our landfills, and litters our neighborhoods.

“The developing plastic waste crisis has been building for decades,” the National Academy of Sciences study said. “The success of the 20th century miracle invention of plastics has also produced a global scale deluge of plastic waste seemingly everywhere we look.” Overall, the United States produced 42 million metric tons of plastic waste in 2016 — almost twice as much as China, and more than the entire European Union combined. - Washington Post

The cacophony of plastic that exists in our world is what is being explored through the imagery. The images are created similar to one of the first uses of photography created by William Henry Fox Talbot with his photogenic drawings in The Pencil of Nature. While Talbot was using natural elements in the creation of his imagery, these images are using the man made material of plastic. With Talbot’s process, the images were in a sense an artistic document of an ephemeral object. These images are slightly the reverse, an artistic creation utilizing objects that will outlive us, and most likely the process the imagery is created with.

Release Date: April 21,2023

The image is created with the use of plastic found in my recycling bin. It is not a traditional photograph, but photogram in which the plastic is placed on top of photographic paper in which light is passed through the object to the paper to create the line aspect to the image. It is then developed in the same manner as a traditional print. The image is then scanned into a computer, and multiple negatives are combined to give the layering affect that appears in the image.

Forever 15, 2021

Release Date: October 20,2023

Forever 17, 2021

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