PrettyUgly: Photography by Dale Strouse
February 2-24, 2018
Opening Reception: Friday, February 2 5-9pm
PrettyUgly Artist Statement
The images in this body of work are an exploration of the concept of pretty and ugly. I am an unapologetic admirer of beauty. I just don’t limit my eyes to the traditional idea of what is considered “pretty.” I find beauty in the decayed. Where others might be indifferent or
even repulsed by the dead, the old and rusted, the feared and abhorred, or even the broken, I see an engaging elegance. Using close compositions and delicate arrangements I hope to encourage the viewer to discover this elegance and reconsider their concepts
of pretty and ugly.
The images in the PrettyUgly series are photopolymer gravures created over the past year and a half. Most images began as digital captures, although some were created from scans of film negatives. The digital images were printed out as film positives and these films were used to make the photopolymer gravure plates. The plates are hand inked and printed on fine art paper using an etching press. The tactile and exquisite nature of a gravure print was the perfect medium to support my vision in this series.
The handmade book consists of 18 pages of photopolymer gravures and photopolymer letterpress text. It is perfect bound and the cover is handmade as well. First, the layout of the book was mocked up using InDesign. Then I tore and trimmed paper for each page.
Plates were made for each image and printed in editions of 5. After all the gravures were printed the letterpress plates were made and the pages were printed again with text. After all the pages were completed they were perfect bound. The covers were made
and finally the book blocks were bound into the covers. There are four copies, one of which was given to my mother.
Dale Strouse became interested in photography in the summer of 1974. As a senior in high school he received a gifted student grant to take a college art class. He choose a black and white darkroom photography class. He has been making images ever since. After receiving a degree in Biology he returned to school in the 90’s and obtained a degree in Graphic Design. Throughout a career as a designer he frequently showed his photographic work in group and one person exhibitions. He has taught photography at Lower Columbia College in Longview WA and has taught photography and photopolymer gravure workshops. He served on the initial board of directors for Newspace Center for Photography along with Chris Bennett, Alexis Pike, Christine Eagon and Jake Shivery. He is currently employed as the Fine Arts Tech at Washington State University in Vancouver, WA, where he specializes in photography and printmaking. Some of his earliest photographic influences were Adams and Weston, Arbus and Winogrand. This admiration led him to concentrate as much on the craft of image making as well as the concept behind the images. He places a high value on the fine art print. He has produced a wide spectrum of photographic work, including traditional landscapes, urban landscapes, still lifes, Polaroid art and several conceptual series. He plans to continue to make meaningful work and to share his knowledge and experience with others through teaching.