John Hamburger has pioneered an innovative photographic process that he refers to as “digital transfer on wood”. Using reclaimed wine crates, uniquely made paper, and a mix of resin and polymer, he has created a body of work that allows the wood grain to become an element of the photograph. Ten of Hamburger’s exceptional photographs are currently on display on the 1st and 2nd floors of Mahopac Public Library; the work can be viewed during regular gallery hours.
John studied at the International School for Photography in New York, the Center for Photography in Woodstock, New York, and at the Silvermine Guild for the Arts in Connecticut. He has also been instructed and guided by master photographers such as Elizabeth Opalenik, Jock Sturges, Dan McCormack, Susan Kleckner, and Robert Maxwell.
In his latest works, entitled “Under Ground”, John spent time taking pictures of people traveling on the New York City subways, as well as meeting and photographing the roving musicians that play for a living in the train stations. One of his favorite areas to capture the scenes, the sounds and the people, is the food service area located on lower level of Grand Central Station. “Here is where people come from all walks of life to visit, to eat, to read, to meet and yes, to just be alone”, says Hamburger. “The light is low but the excitement is high.”
People often ask him “How did you do that?”, referring to his art on wood. He answers the question the best way possible: it has been a three-year evolution in perfecting the process and he continues to make changes all the time. It was halfway through a photography project called “Under-Ground”, that he decided that he wanted a new way to present it. Remembering that many of the great art masters used wood panels for their paintings gave him inspiration for his work. The photographic paper that he developed is extremely thin which gives his artwork the appearance of a painted surface.
Among the works installed on the 1st floor of the Library are several that feature readers: on the train or waiting at a subway stop including “On the 4 Train from the Bronx”, “68th St. Hunter College”, and “Harry Potter”. These original works have given us an opportunity to experience a unique photographic process that is being used today.
For more information about exhibits at Mahopac Library, visit www.mahopaclibrary. org, or call 845-628-2009, ext. 108.