Richard Shenk has been a photographer for thirty years as well as an avid collector with over 450 photographs as part of his personal collection. Committed to the traditional technique of processing black and white film, Shenk uses Tri-X black and white film almost exclusively, works in medium-size format (2-1/4" square and 4"x5" formats), and prints on double weight, selenium toned and archivally processed paper which are then mounted on four-ply, acid-free board.
Continually fascinated by how the camera can transform a subject - and how using black and white further alters the recognition of an object, Shenk says, "It's a process of selection. It's about photographing, developing and printing that journey. The result is the balance between abstract design and a recognizable object."
A prolific artist, Shenk's subject matter varies between abstract compositions (peeling bark, snowcaps, the shadow-play of lines and textures in the quotidian), to portraits of the rural villagers of Bhutan, India and China, to the many foreign and exotic locales of remote lands (Ankor Wat, The Great Wall of China, Jerusalem's Yad Vashem). Shenk has traveled worldwide, most recently focusing on the people, places and characteristics of Asia. His latest collection records the different tribes of India and China and their respective costumes.
With hundreds of prints to cull from, a visit to Shenk's studio is a marvel and a treasure. You might find yourself poised above the rocky coastline of Point Lobos or gazing into the wizened face of a grandmother holding the hand of her grandson against a village wall. But whatever you see, the images will long resonate after you are gone.
Shenk has owned galleries over his photographic career and has images in the collections of museums such as the Center of Creative Photography, University of Arizona, Tucson, the Cincinnati Art Museum, Cleveland Art Museum, Chicago Art Institute and the Israeli Art Museum, in Jerusalem. His book, A Different Way of Seeing, is a stunning showcase of abstracts.