February 9- March 10th, 2012
In his unconventional photography, the emotional and spiritual experience of a place and its lineage of time are at the core of Mark Florian’s depicted subject matter. Through his signature technique of using multiple layered images that Florian began developing in 1981, over 2 decades before the invention of the digital camera, he employs composition, vivid color, light and shadow, creating what can be arguably described as photographic paintings.
Forgoing the traditional use of photography as a means to capture a moment in time, or to depict with visual accuracy an object or place, Florian utilizes many individual images and occasionally multiple exposures as a material for which he composes his emotional response of a particular place of congregation. Through his technique Florian utilizes the multiplicity of images as an opportunity to explore a new visual world that speaks of movement and the passing of time, which ultimately leads to a deeper philosophical interpretation of reality.
Born in 1960 in Moravia, Czechoslovakia to a family of musicians, where by the age of ten he began playing the pipe organ, and devoted himself to choral singing with a particular interest in Renaissance polyphony. Florian was introduced to the world of photography through the discovery of Josef Sudek’s work and promptly purchased his first camera at age 12. By age 18 he mounted his first solo exhibition in Jesenik, Czechoslovakia, a documentary series on the lives of Gypsies. He has continued to exhibit and make new work in response to his extensive travels to the Middle and Far East, Europe, Africa and most recent to Mexico and the Nevada Black Rock desert for Burning Man.
Mark Florian has been the recipient of both an Alberta Foundation for the Arts and a Canada Council grant, and his work can be found in several corporate collections in Canada. The influence of his musical and spiritual upbringing are apparent in Florian’s art today, utilizing images like musical notes Florian is both the composer and conductor in presenting magnificent visual scenes that deliver a depth and complexity in the same way a piece of chamber music is written for two or more solo parts.