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Garrett Pruter

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Ventura, CA

Birth year

Lives in
Brooklyn, NY

Works in
Brooklyn, NY


Parsons School of Desig

Representing galleries


My work is an exploration of nostalgia, entropy, and mnemonic frailty. I source vernacular photographs and 35mm slides from junk stores, eBay, novelty shops, and the internet, documenting the patterns and oddities that emerge after viewing these discarded images in large quantities.  In an era of quickly shifting image-making technologies, it seems relevant to consider the effects that the transition between analogue and digital might have on the way that we process and maintain information and memories. 

Through the archival of discarded snapshot photographs from around the world, certain small truths and pleasures of human nature become apparent. For example, from nearly all sources, some of the most common subjects are cats, floral arrangements, vacations, birthdays, and sunsets. These are themes that are banal in nature, but worth examining for that very reason. These are not the photographs that end up framed on mantles or preserved for any length of time. They are nearly automatic in their raw, unconsidered depiction of everyday life.  

The photographs are deconstructed using various subtractive techniques that blur the line between fact and fiction, giving new life to moments on the verge of obsolescence. The physical anatomy of these photographs are dissected, layers peeled back and washed away to reveal their underlying structure -- evidence of their own mortality and manufactured reality. The work questions the representational authority of photography, images that we tend to immediately accept as fact, even allowing our own memories to intertwine with. 

I am interested in the multiple generations that a single image goes through. From a photograph's conception through the lens of a camera to its development in a lab, to printing, scanning, enlarging, and re-printing, the passage of time and process gradually leaves its mark.  Flaws like dust, scratches, folds, tears and discoloration become embraced as compositional devices, owing a great deal to the aesthetics of chance.  The images seem to have a life analogous to our own memories -- through time, a certain haziness creeps in, obscuring and streamlining experiences into ambiguity and abstraction. 

Because these images often outlive their owners, they tend to exist in excess and without purpose. Once the context is removed, they lose any personal value and narratives that they once had. My work extends the life of these dying cultural artifacts through experimental methods of cataloguing, archiving, and photographic abstraction. The work blurs the line between photography and painting, equal parts representation and abstraction. 


Recent Exhibits

Garrett Pruter participated in these exhibits:

Mar, 2015 Traces
Judith Charles Gallery
Oct, 2014 Human Interface
Hus Gallery
Oct, 2014 Human Interface
Hus Gallery
Jun, 2014 Generation Loss
Galerie Virginie Louvet
Eric Firestone Gallery
Charles Bank Gallery
Click here to see all exhibits for Garrett Pruter
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