J.P. Corr III has been working in several different mediums before finding his way to alternative photographic processes. See his mixed media “gymnotypes” here.
From: Apex, North Carolina, USA.
J.P. Corr III began expressing himself creatively at an early age. Though his dead-bug sculptures and coloring-book wallpaper weren’t embraced as budding artistic genius, he was inherently compelled to express himself via some creative outlet. His small-town upbringing did not foster his creative spirit, so he often took to the woods, entertaining himself by interacting with his natural surroundings in a way that only he could understand. He was sensitive, different, ostracized for his ideas, and compelled to create as an emotional response, whether through photography and mixed media, or creative writing and poetry.
While studying video/film at the Savannah College of Art and Design, his main focus shifted to photography. He was in awe of the still image, and saw this medium as the optimal outlet for his raw artistic expression.
“A photograph is different from a moving image because it does not change; it remains constant, yet can say so much. Within one frame you are taught patience, focus, and understanding. Where most art forms are compositions, photography is a true recording of life, sentimental to each viewer for different reasons. What one person enjoys, another may despise. It is glorious. It is undeniable. It is truth.”
This newfound passion took him to the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) in New York City, where he sought to evolve his craft by supplementing his natural creativity with the technical knowledge needed to bring his visions to life. While studying in New York, he became intrigued with the intimate portrait works created by George Hurrell and Yousuf Karsh and admired their capture of personality through such minimalist grace. J.P.’s fascination with people led to a focus in portraiture, and his culminating portfolio upon graduating was said by the photography department chair to be one of the most striking and interesting to come out of FIT. He went on to become a photographer’s assistant–his longest working relationship with celebrity pet photographer Jim Dratfield, for whom he built lighting arrangements and wrangled animals for shoots. He also completed an internship at the Jenkins Johnson Gallery in Chelsea, where he was taught the inner workings of New York’s fine art industry. Soon establishing himself as a peer, and longing to return to a natural setting reminiscent of the one where he grew up, he decided to move to the fine state of North Carolina to begin his solo career.
At the young age of 26, J.P. has developed a few unique innovations. He is the creator of the Dimensiotype–a two-dimensional image that appears to have a three-dimensional quality by altering the viewer’s focus. He also developed the Gymnotype, which is a non-toxic alternative photo-amalgamation process, resulting in a finished piece that appears similar to its antiquated and toxic counterparts. His appreciation for individuality brought about TrueSelf Portraiture, which aims to portray the true nature and character of the subject, and is an interactive, personal process between the subject and the photographer.
“It feels good to be able to offer the public a safe alternative to a toxic process. The gymnotype’s uniqueness will attract those not only interested in it’s rarity, but who also appreciate and share my respect for the environment. There are always better options; we must not cease in uncovering them.”
- Email: joltingpanda (at) gmail.com
JP’s notes about the process: Throughout the history of alternative photography, in order to create harmony between a photographic image and the surface upon which it is developed, usually at least one of the following things has occurred:
– We have subjected the environment and ourselves to harsh chemical processes (as in wet plate collodion processing).
– We have altered our vision, as well as been wasteful, because the processes can be temperamental, causing the results to be a gamble.
Now through a non-toxic photo-amalgamation process, it is possible to get a look that rivals that of wet plate collodion works, all the while being in control of the finished product. This product is the Gymnotype; an archival mixed-media photograph with extraordinary detail and a raw organic, painterly quality. These are not only incredible works of detailed art, but they are also more environmentally responsible than most alternative processes of the past.
It’s a non-toxic photo-amalgamation process which involves safe and environmentally regulated chemicals , with most of the byproducts varying between being sustainable, water soluble, or recyclable. Once I have my image on the surface of choice, which is usually gilded aluminum, I am able to cook the whites out. It takes me 1-2 weeks to create a single gymnotype, but the process, although tedious, is not as temperamental as wet plates and does not require UV light. Every aspect of the image and final product is under my control and not harmful to myself or the environment.
Although I produce most of my gymnotypes on gilded aluminum, I also experiment with other surfaces as substrates. Unfortunately, when creating gymnotypes on surfaces that do not do well under heat application, like copper and wood, it’s much harder to cook, because as we all know, Flame + Wood = Bye Bye Artwork and Flame + Copper = Uncontrollable Patina. Because I have to be super careful, I rarely create them on wood or other difficult gymnotype substrates, unless I feel it’s necessary. That’s why you will notice that the final product on wood is only about 85-90% transparent and a little cloudy. I still love them though.