Haunted by a Painter's Ghost
Photography and Symbolism in the Digital Age
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FINE ART PHOTOGRAPHY has come of age and photographic prints are now in demand at auction houses and art galleries worldwide.

Digital imaging tools are providing creative freedoms previously reserved for painters and the fine art digital print is now regarded equally as favourably as the traditional darkroom photograph. The digital domain almost 're-invented' photography and has been embraced by those photographers who felt hampered by the technical constraints of the old analogue processes.

One such practitioner is the photographic artist Dominic Rouse, described by America's BW Magazine as a "master of digital manipulation" and whose superbly-crafted black and white silver prints were lauded by the editor of the respected British Journal of Photography as "masterpieces" when 'Haunted by a Painter's Ghost' was exhibited in London.

Brooks Jensen, the editor of LensWork Publishing described Rouse as "one of the most interesting photographic artists working today" and compared his photographs to the paintings of Pieter Breugel, Hieronymus Bosch and René Magritte.

Rouse's work is certainly dark in tone and has a visionary edge that does bear comparison with the likes of Bosch & Breugel but it goes beyond that. His provocative fantasies provide endless opportunities for speculation and possess qualities that force the viewer to suspend both belief and disbelief in unison.

His prints are not only challenging and alluring but are also impeccably crafted things of beauty providing seamless transitions between the world of contemporary digital art and the timeless qualities of large format black & white photography.

Whilst many artists describe their art as the search for 'Truth and Beauty', Rouse says that he is more interested in "exposing the fallacy that is truth" and is of the opinion that "Beauty is measured in degrees of deceit; the greater the beauty, the greater the deceit."

The exhibition's title is drawn from an observation made by the French critic Roland Barthes in Camera Lucida in which he suggests that the critical appreciation of photography is necessarily haunted by the history of art, particularly painting.

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