Jonathan Bagby

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Untitled 8 (from "Somewhere is Somewhere" series) Digital Photography 20 X 20 Inches
Untitled 2 (from "Equal Direction") Digital Photography 20 X 30 Inches
Untitled 8 (from "Deep Static") Digital Photography 20 X 30 Inches
Untitled 12 (from "Cerebral Ash") Digital Photography 20 X 30 Inches
Untitled 7 (from "Cerebral Ash") Digital Photography 20 X 30 Inches
Untitled 13 (from "Cerebral Ash") Digital Photography 20 X 30 Inches
Untitled 2 (from "Cerebral Ash") Digital Photography 20 X 30 Inches
Quick Facts
Lives in
Knoxville, TN
University of Tennessee
surrealism, photography, digital

I was born in Orlando, Florida and grew up in various places in Tennessee and Virginia. When I was younger I spent my time backpacking, hiking, and running competitively. Now my free time is split between my dog Koda, exploring various cities, mountains, and the areas surrounding Knoxville, TN.


Artist Statement:

My photographic reality is located in the uncharted waters of the mind between memory and history. Memories are constructions. We must actively facilitate the creation and storage of our memories. The correlation between the construction of a memory and the construction of a photograph is the jumping off point for my artistic intentions.

The transformations and translations which occur when manipulating reality in order to bring my imagination to life fuel my drive to create. I think of photography as a process similar to painting with the camera being just one of the tools used to accomplish a final image. The amount of time I spend behind a camera is relatively short compared to the time and effort that goes into the overall production of a completed image.

When I combine images I re-contextualize the original location, subject, and time of a photograph. These individual parts of an image from here on will be referred to as the “history” of an image. My creative process is focused on the collapse of separate photographic histories into a collective history. A completed image no longer belongs to any specific time or place signifying the transition from reality into a mindscape.

Familiar imagery is used in my work to engage an individual's unique catalog of human experience and involve their personal memory with the narrative content. The photographic space of a mindscape is influenced by the principles of mise-en-scène, the structure of a diorama, and the illusion of a theater stage. The people in my work are archetypal representations of the figure not meant to refer to any specific person. Wires and light streams represent the flow of information through the mind. Elements such as doors and hallways reference possible pathways of movement. Depending upon the specific image, textural layers reference things such as nerve fibers, particulate matter in the brain, or alternative process photography.

There is no universally agreed upon model of how the brain or memory works. These scenes have been illuminated while exploring the secret caverns and forgotten spaces of the mind. Sometimes there is a dead end and only a clue remains. This is an aesthetic voyage into the mind suspended in non-time.

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