Photography is just the beginning


when I use a nearly extinct Polaroid SX-70 camera as the first tool for my many layered photo collages. My inspiration sometimes comes from the actual world where the documentation of experience serves as the foundation of the collage, or I can be inspired by dreams, or a response to an enviroment or a memory or an emotion. Though inspiration sets the piece, I let my camera guide me. Laid out in large multi-image canvasses to small one-image pieces, I peel the Polaroid film from it's encasement and alter the images through a variety of applications. I etch into the emulsion. Using charcoal, pencil, ink transfers, markers, paint and a number of other mediums, I alter the image front and back. By grouping the images, the collages grow from their manipulation, always keeping the ubiquitous Polaroid grid as anchor.


I was raised in a log cabin in Ketchum, Idaho. I now live and work in Baltimore MD.


Matthew Kern