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X-ray Vision

X-ray Vision

© Irwin Berman/courtesy of Palm Beach Photographic Center.

Irwin Berman’s “Sitting Man”, involves manipulation of conventional photographs using a heavy metal call Barium, which is used in painting and in Medical X-Rays. His unique technique is called ‘flottage’ because the Barium is floated and shaped over the photograph using brushes and sculpture tools. The photographic paintings are then exposed to X-Ray light, creating a transparency. In each of these works his intent is that the resultant XRay transparency will become an “infrastructural expression of the original photographic substance, as if a virtual spawn of the parent photograph.

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  1. Irwin Berman has an eye for taking ordinary views of the world and transforming them so their true meaning and focus jumps out and challenges the viewer. Fortunately, I have been able to obtain two of his best phototransformation works. It’s wonderful each day when his art causes me to look and examine the pieces and have a fluid respose every time based upon my situation that day. To me, art should impact us every day and every time we see it.

  2. Irwin Berman’s “Phototransformations” were featured this winter in a show called “The Art of Film” at the Lighthouse Center for the Arts Museum in Tequesta, Florida. People were fascinated with Berman’s original technique, his transformation of photographs into powerful, emotionally packed images with gesturally exciting lines and shapes. Berman displayed his photographs on medical light boxes, inside Plexiglas cubes and on rotating round disks, as well as very large transparencies. Collectors gobbled up several of his pieces as the contemporary art world craves the original and innovative.

  3. creating a new technique is an incredibly rare feat in any discipline, congratulations! This is a particularly interesting mix of non-technological hand made brush strokes, photography and medical technology. In an age where the prevalent manipulation of photography is predictably attained through computer assistance this is a hard splash of fresh air. Thank you, I was totally thirsty for something like this. I love the image and it is something I will spend a long time studying. The head, body and environment are expressive and loose with the shoe being a tight, tasty little gem that hints at something conservative and realistic. So perfect. I hope to see an exhibition of the work come up in Europe sometime so that I can view it at full impact.

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