On a Wet Bough
Essays by Geoffrey Batchen and Matthew Williams
Waltz Books, 2014
Hardcover, 144 pages with 85 duotone plates
Signed by the artist
This stunning monograph of tintype portraits is culled from an archive of hundreds taken over the last decade by Keliy Anderson-Staley, and many of which were made during her August 2010 residency at Light Work. The long exposure time needed to make a tintype requires that the sitter remain as still as possible to produce a sharp image. As a result, the subjects of these tintypes often display an intense and guileless expression that immediately connects their faces to those of 19th-Century portraits. Stripped of the modern default behavior of smiling in front of a camera, these images, with all the exquisite detail afforded by the wet plate process, suggest an important rethinking of what it means to photograph and be photographed.
Anderson-Staley mixes and pours the emulsion for each plate on site shortly before a portrait is made. The process of hand-coating each piece leaves behind traces of the maker that are as beautifully and deeply embedded in the final image as the perceived identity of the subject.
Includes essays by Geoffrey Batchen and Matthew Williams.
Keliy Anderson-Staley has exhibited her work for over a decade in solo and group exhibitions at institutions including the National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; Moscow Museum of Modern Art, Russia; the California Museum of Photography; and the Southeast Museum of Photography. Her work is in the collections of Portland Museum of Art, Maine; the Library of Congress; and Cedar Rapids Museum of Art, Iowa. She is represented by Catherine Edelman Gallery in Chicago.