Do Or Die Artwork

 

Fruma Markowitz

Fence at Viv’s Farm


As long as I can remember, I was driven to touch materials and to make things out of them, but I never dared call myself an artist. When I was seven, my father put a Kodak Brownie camera and two rolls of 120 black and white film in my hands, and my life was changed forever. Finally, I could record life in detail! No other twist or turn since – not marriage and divorce, birth of my two children and death of my two parents, moving 20 times in 20 years twice across oceans and continents – nothing was as powerful and pivotal as my father’s recognition that his young daughter couldn't live without making and creating, and therefore needed a special tool with which to do the magic. Throughout the years, that Brownie camera, and many others, have brought me to my life blood, my work.

Lately that is changing. My day-job freelance gigs dried up suddenly this past summer. I spent many hours searching for work feeling that I’d lost my professional street cred, and freaking out about the loss of financial stability. Strangely, I also felt a wonderful sense of elation and liberation. I hadn’t had the time and space before required to really try new things, experiment, fail, explore, move forward. And now I did!

I had played with the historic cyanotype process before, and so I decided to try and really explore it. The experience has been as earth-shattering for me as the gift of my first Brownie camera. Unlike traditional photography, it is not necessary to be precise. The work I am making is radically different than before. It’s more painterly and loose, less mechanical, more hand-made, heartfelt, direct. I have finally arrived at a place that is less about being a documenter of “real life," and I have finally found the courage to call myself an artist! With more years behind me than in front of me, it’s now or never, do or die and exactly where I want to be.

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12”x12”x1”

Cyanotype

$350