My fascination with negative imagery stretches back to my early years as a student of photography. Examining my negatives, with a loupe on a light table, I felt as if I was glimpsing another very real world. The radiant image that emanated from the film entranced me. It was beautiful and strange, mysterious and surreal. Now, many years later, my interest in negative imagery has only deepened. For the past nine years, I have been making prints and creating series’ of works. "Illuminating the Negative" is a collection of these hand-colored works which were inspired by the beauty and mystery of the photographic negative, and created in the years between 2000 and 2009.
I approach my photographs as a painter approaches a canvas: my photographic negative is solely a springboard, or a point of departure. By selectively colorizing parts of an image, and combining a black and white world with a versicolored world, I dissolve the lines between the realms of photography and painting, so that the resulting image is drawn both by light and by hand. With the glowing negative image as my base, my photographs are like light-filled imprints of real (or imagined) memories.
Marcie Jan Bronstein has been creating photo-based art for the past twenty years. Known for her unique, hand-colored images, her work has been exhibited, published, and collected in the U.S. and abroad. She is the author of two published books of photographs ("I'll Wait in the Car" and "Best Seat in the House", both by Sellers Publishing), and she is the creator of a number of large-scale public works. An insatiable traveler, forever drawn to the sea and the Old World, Bronstein lives with her family on the coast of Maine.