Our Blog

Safe in the Studio: Mabry Campbell

While our gallery’s doors are closed temporarily due to the Covid-19 Pandemic, Catherine Couturier Gallery is pleased to announce a blog series entitled Safe in the Studio featuring a new gallery artist each week. Our artists will share behind-the-scenes information about specific pieces and offer insight into their artist practice. With each blog post, three works will be highlighted and discounted 20% for one week following the post’s publishing date. 

Last week, Catherine Couturier Gallery featured exhibiting artist, Maggie Taylor. This week, the gallery is pleased to present the following post by gallery artist Mabry Campbell:

When the Covid-19 pandemic arrived in Texas, I changed my phone’s home screen to a painting of Prince. He was the most creative person alive during my lifetime. Everytime I pick up my phone, the image reminds me to be creative and put the phone back down. This simple change has proved to be effective in limiting my news consumption and maximizing my creative output. 

Prince, Mabry's Phone Screen

Screenshot of Mabry Campbell's Homescreen

I always look forward to my afternoon runs around the neighborhood. It keeps my spirits up, keeps me in shape and clears my head. Sometimes unexpected things happen. Last week I ran past a church sign which read,  “Read Luke 12:25” across it in bold letters. When I got home I looked it up. It said, “Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life?”. It was a calming moment, and it continues to keep me calm amidst the onslaught of news and the hyper-pointed opinions of some friends that are often not particularly healthy .This combined with the ever-present image of Prince on my phone has kept me creative and productive during this unprecedented time.

My style of photography is inherently isolating. It is a quiet experience. I shoot by myself and edit by myself. So unlike many friends, I am not experiencing the frustrations of adapting to isolation and a lack of personal interaction. But like many friends, I am adapting to having my two young children in and around my workspace throughout the day and the distractions of schooling through distance learning.

Of course, I interact with my surroundings when shooting. It started to become apparent that those interactions would be extremely limited with the Stay Home/Work Safe order we are under in Houston. Several days before that order was issued, I went downtown over two days to do some uncharacteristic documentary photography. The scenes in downtown shocked me. On Saturday night, March 21, 2020, the usually bustling Main Street with it’s bars and restaurants was completely empty, save the occasional car and a few residents out walking their dogs. Bars were closed indefinitely and had plywood covering their windows and doors like a hurricane was coming. It was eerie.

Main Street, Houston, Covid-19, Downtown Scene, Mabry Campbell

Main Street, Houston, TX
March 21, 2020

The next night, I went out again. It was obvious that the homeless were having to adjust to this new reality in downtown. This is Kevin, standing in front of the classic Dean’s Credit Clothing neon sign on Main Street. He has been homeless for 3 years. He told me that usually he receives $12 in change per day, but that with so few people now coming to downtown he is receiving almost nothing. And with restaurants under stress the extra food once available is now gone. Kevin did not want anything from me other than a few minutes of conversation.  

Mabry Campbell, Houston Downtown, Kevin, Covid-19

Kevin, Houston, TX
March 22, 2020

My photography business has changed radically in the past month. My commercial photography business has completely disappeared. It happened in an instant. One night in early March I was booked solid for weeks and the next morning every shoot was cancelled or on indefinite hold. This is a common story and experienced in some way by everyone. I am using this extra time to increase my fine art photography output. Instead of producing one to two images per week, I am producing one image per day. It is a great feeling. 

The last photograph I completed prior to the Stay Home/Work Safe order was “The Wasatch Range, Saratoga Springs, Utah, 2019”. At 16 x 64 inches, this very wide panorama format is unusual for me. It was made by stitching together nine photos taken at 100mm each, which is why the photograph covers such a huge stretch of the Wasatch range in fine detail. The photo is of the Wasatch mountain range from Lindon to Provo. It is printed and mounted. On the day the closures went into effect, it was destined for Catherine Couturier Gallery.

The Wasatch Range No. 1, Mabry Campbell, Catherine Couturier Gallery

The Wasatch Range, Saratoga Springs, Utah, 2019

All of my work since then has been similar and very different from what I was creating six months ago. I am now assembling three to nine photographs to create one image. In addition, all were shot with telephoto lenses combined with a selective focus technique, where some of the photographs in the assemblage are intentionally shot out of focus. This gives the finished images significant compression of depth with a natural blur around the edges.

A great example is “RR 2810 to Marfa, Marfa, Texas, 2019”. It was created with all of these new techniques with the added benefit of being shot with a light rainstorm in the distance. Ranch Road 2810 from Marfa is a beautiful drive. I highly recommend it. Just be aware that the last 30 miles to the border with Mexico is an unpaved gravel and rock road. And for us movie-lovers, I was happy to discover that this is the exact location of the opening scene from “No Country For Old Men”. What a great coincidence. 

RR 2810 to Marfa, Marfa, Texas, 2019, Mabry Campbell, Catherine Couturier Gallery

RR 2810 to Marfa, Marfa, Texas, 2019

One morning on my last trip to Big Bend National Park, I woke up with a bad cold. I had planned to hike The Window Trail to the pouroff but there was no way I could make it. That photograph will have to wait. So instead, I created this, “The Window Trail, Big Bend National Park, 2020”, which uses all the new techniques and compresses the scene from the start of the trail out to the Chisos Mountains. The use of selective focus really miniaturized this scene. The Chisos Mountains are towering and generally massive, but they do not seem so in this finished image.

The Window Trail, Big Bend National Park, Texas, 2020, Mabry Campbell, Catherine Couturier Gallery

The Window Trail, Big Bend National Park, Texas, 2020

Since I cannot shoot new photographs of subjects that interest me in these current conditions I am content to keep working on creating images from my past catalog up to about February 26, 2020. I have gone back as far as 2011, and I am enjoying revisiting this older work. When the travel restrictions are lifted, I see an immediate trip back out to West Texas and Big Bend National Park to continue where I left off. It’s hard to imagine, but I suspect I will appreciate that landscape even more now.

- Mabry Campbell

 

To learn more about Mabry Campbell and see more of his work, please visit his Artist Page.

The following three pieces are available to purchase with a 20% discount in each size for the next week. The discount will no longer be applicable on orders made after Wednesday, April 8, 2020 at 11:59PM.

 

The Wasatch Range No. 1, Mabry Campbell, Catherine Couturier Gallery

The Wasatch Range, Saratoga Springs, Utah, 2019
8 x 48 inches, edition of 10: $1,200 ($1,500)
16 x 64 inches, edition of 10: $2,000 ($2,500)

 

RR 2810 to Marfa, Marfa, Texas, 2019, Mabry Campbell, Catherine Couturier Gallery

RR 2810 to Marfa, Marfa, Texas, 2019
8 x 8 inches, edition of 10: $480 ($600)
15 x 15 inches, edition of 10: $720 ($900)
22 x 22 inches, edition of 10: $1,200 ($1,500)
30 x 30 inches, edition of 5: $2,000 ($2,500)

 

The Window Trail, Big Bend National Park, Texas, 2020, Mabry Campbell, Catherine Couturier Gallery 

The Window Trail, Big Bend National Park, Texas, 2020
8 x 8 inches, edition of 10: $480 ($600)
15 x 15 inches, edition of 10: $720 ($900)
22 x 22 inches, edition of 10: $1,200 ($1,500)
30 x 30 inches, edition of 5: $2,000 ($2,500)

 

Please note that prints will be ready shortly after the "Stay at Home" orders have been lifted (April 30, 2020 as of April 1, 2020). For purchases or further inquiries, email us at gallery@catherinecouturier.com.

Safe in the Studio: Maggie Taylor

Posted on Mar 26, 2020

While our gallery’s doors are closed temporarily due to the Covid-19 Pandemic, Catherine Couturier Gallery is pleased to announce a blog series entitled Safe in the Studio featuring a new gallery artist each week. For our first post in the series, Catherine Couturier Gallery presents exhibiting artist, Maggie Taylor.

Art League of Baytown Exhibition Juried by Catherine Couturier

Posted on Mar 12, 2020

Catherine juried the Art League of Baytown's ongoing exhibition Imagery: Shadow and Light. The exhibition is on view from March 7th through April 18th.

Paris Photo New York 2020 Postponed

Posted on Mar 12, 2020

Paris Photo New York presented with AIPAD has been postponed due to the Coronavirus outbreak. Take a look at the works we would have featured.

FLATS Lab: A Houston Community Darkroom

Posted on Feb 27, 2020

In July 2019, FLATS Lab, a film developing service, opened in Houston to serve our local photography community. Please consider donating to their GoFundMe to help them expand and continue to serve the Houston photography community.

Paris Photo New York, Presented with AIPAD

Posted on Jan 10, 2020

Catherine Couturier Gallery is proud to announce its participation in the inaugural edition of Paris Photo New York, Presented with AIPAD. The fair will be held at Pier 94, from April 2-5, 2020. Formallying known as the AIPAD Photography Show New York, the…

New Acquisitions

Posted on Jan 8, 2020

The gallery recently acquired some major works by renowned artists including Lotte Jacobi, Ruth Bernhard, and Brett Weston. Preview the works below or visit the gallery to see them in person.   Lotte JacobiLotte Lenya, Actress, Berlin, 1930vintage gelatin…

End of Year Special: Limited Edition of Maggie Taylor, Through the Looking-Glass

Posted on Nov 26, 2019

Through the end of the year, Maggie Taylor is offering a unique opportunity to purchase a copy of her limited edition book with print, Through the Looking-glass. Instead of having your choice of two images to include, you may select any of the 65 images in…

Art Consulting for VillageMD

Posted on Nov 20, 2019

Village Medical at Walgreens located in Houston's Inwood area. We are so proud to share that we provided art services to the brand new, innovative, convenient, and affordable primary care clinics, Village Medical at Walgreens. The transformative healthcare…

Maggie Taylor's Work Now Available on Metal

Posted on Nov 18, 2019

What Remains?, 2016Dye Sublimation on Aluminum48 x 48 inches Catherine Couturier Gallery is happy to announce that Maggie Taylor will now offer dye sublimation prints on aluminum in addition to inkjet prints. Dye sublimation prints are available in the following…