cliff wassmann | photography | oils
At a time when cell phones have made everyone a photographer and “images of the day” flicker by on facebook postings, Wassmann’s work invites viewers to hit the pause button on their digital lives and take in the sublime. The difference between his work and the flood of imagery coming from all quarters is Wassmann’s life-long artistic passion. As an oil painter for 15 years before experimenting with large-format film photography in the 90’s, the heart of his photography is based on a love of landscape painting. It was his quest for originality that lead Wassmann to work exclusively from his own photos as references for his award-winning, highly realistic paintings.
Initially the photos he took were just for the purposes of painting studies and not much regard for technical quality was necessary. Some images however, stood out as artistic statements of their own. Seeing the success of these, Wassmann invested in 4x5 and 8x10 photographic equipment. These cameras, with larger film frames than even IMAX movies produced stunning images which surpass even the best digital cameras today.
Unfortunately printing technology fell behind in reproducing these richly detailed transparencies. In addition, the chemicals and expense in printing, and short life-spans of the prints relegated color photography to second-class art pieces. Digital processing and printing has changed all that. Working with state-of-the-art printing technology Wassmann is now producing stunning prints from his original transparencies as well as newer imagery created with high-resolution digital cameras.
Wassmann’s knack for catching spectacular events such as lightning bolts, rainbows and dramatic sunsets in the South Orange County area has made his work a local favorite. It has appeared in hundreds of magazines, books and web sites world-wide and as an exclusive Getty Images iStock.com contributor is regularly used by designers.