Fellows News

Carl Sander Socolow, Guggenheim Fellow in Photography, 2006, awarded first place in the Art of the State (2013)

Jul 2, 2013

Carl Sander Socolow, Guggenheim Fellow in Photography, 2006, is a prize winner in the Art of the State (2013), an annual juried exhibition presented by Jump Street and the State Museum of Pennsylvania. Socolow was awarded first place for his photograph Winter Beach I.

This photograph was made the day before Thanksgiving 2012, in Gloucester, Massachusetts. I was visiting my parents, as I’ve done for many years, but with my 92-year old father’s declining health I knew it would be the last time we would be together as a family. The few brief free moments that were available to me were spent in solitary walks on the nearby beach.

My ongoing body of work, “Scenes from Civic Life” is grounded in the human. Rarely do I make photographs that do not depict aspects of human experience, influence or effect. My pictures contain a certain lyricism coupled with a tense expression of form. But scenic photographs are not my usual voice. I had been feeling disconnected from my photography for awhile yet continued to carry a camera with the hope that my usual subject material would resonate again.

And I can only presume that with most epiphanies awareness, serendipity, experience and perhaps, foremost, the openness of one’s heart-space all coalesce into that flash of recognition. I am confident that whatever the process this photograph was a rebirth of my own work in a most unexpected direction. The use of the panoramic camera has long interested me because of its challenges in organizing space. I look for different ways to work with it; in the case of this photo as a vertical. Most importantly, the sun, the fog, the tide and the texture of the waves cooperated. So this picture- a vertical panoramic- of a fog-shrouded winter sun on a desolate beach marks an embarkation point toward a new body of work; one that has me re-energized with the possibility of discovery; with making poems again.