The MasterMinds Finalists: Part Two

Categories: MasterMinds

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Winnowing down Dallas' growing, dynamic community of artists to three MasterMinds involved some tough choices. The process was like lining up at a vast buffet prepared by an outstanding chef: too many wonderful selections and too little room on our plates. On the way to naming the winners, our judges narrowed down the original list of 45 entrants to 10 tasty finalists.

Each day until the three MasterMinds winners are announced via our next issue Thursday, we're featuring those finalists (in no particular order) right here on the Mixmaster. Check out yesterday's if you missed them, and you'll find today's after the jump.

Sara Kerens
Frank Lopez in his studio
Frank Lopez
Collodion photographer and educator

Through Frank Lopez's eye, the world looks ... old again, and that's just the type of forward-thinking that we expect from our MasterMinds nominees. Using 19th century technology, Lopez photographs landscapes, architecture, landmarks and the occasional human, capturing the world as it was and is, all in one frame. Lopez's preferred method utilizes wet, black glass, called "ambrotypes," which produce a positive image with a stark monochromatic scale that pops, seeming almost metallic at a glance. He also experiments with pinhole photography, eliciting ghostly landscape images that haunt, adding an electric energy to an otherwise static scene. A world traveler and adventurer, Lopez likes to "get lost" in foreign countries, foregoing verbal language for gestures and emotional cues in order to communicate with his subjects, creating what he feels is a more democratic, collaborative process. The atavistic technology, he thinks, signifies his identity as an artist in a way that modern technology cannot, and the curiosity it fosters in his human subjects often dissolves cultural boundaries and encourages trust. However -- much to our surprise -- Lopez has begun recently experimenting with his iPhone, grabbing candid, full-color stills that require little or no set-up. From a mournful black-and-white ambrotype of Big Tex to the brash red-orange of octopus tentacles in Vietnam, Lopez masters the whole spectrum, and his photos make "in the moment" feel like 1855 all over again.

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