Chet Morrison 
Photography

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About the Artist


BIO

After growing up in Brooklyn, New York and graduating college in Vermont, I moved to Mexico City where I began my career as a commercial advertising photographer. After enjoying a successful career in Mexico for six years, I returned to the States in 1977 to open Morrison Studio, Inc. in Dallas, Texas. I decided to retire from commercial photography in 2004, sold my business, and started working full-time as a fine artist in the realm of digital photography.


ARTIST STATEMENT

My work was born of the frustration I felt at being bound by the confines of the traditional photographic process. I was inspired to break away from the recording of reality and shift into the realm of digital imaging. There I could have the freedom to create and materialize a fantasy world of my own design. 

I combine my original photography with bits and pieces of black and white antique photographs, assemble them into a new and unique composition, and then color and shade them digitally. In a sense, I see my process as painting with photography. Though the images are composed solely of photographic elements, they are often mistaken for paintings.


I have to admit to a negative bias against the term “artist statement.”  My thought has always been that answering the question “What does this mean?” defeats the purpose of making art in the first place. What my work means to me is irrelevant to the viewerʼs experience. I see my images as similar to looking at a Rorschach inkblot; they will mean different things to different people. In my opinion, visual art is like poetry, open to interpretation. 


That said, I can speak about the many directions from which I draw my inspiration. My natural landscapes are an homage to a fast-disappearing unspoiled wilderness. Some pieces are reactions to current societal issues, such as the destruction of wildlife (“Extinction”) or personal reactions to stories in the news (“The Politician”, “The Priest”, “The Capitalist”). There are other pieces that have been created in response to personal experiences, such as my wifeʼs cancer diagnosis.”The Fiddler” shows a man fiddling in the foreground with a skeletal woman and two children in the background, expressing my fears of a future of sole responsibility for the care of my two young children...and the need to keep on “fiddling” despite my uncertainty. Others come from somewhere inside that is yet to be understood.


My work is sometimes whimsical, sometimes unsettling, but hopefully always thought provoking. Although it doesn’t purport to offer solutions to societal issues, I hope that it inspires conversation and enables viewers to see both the humor and the tragedy in our modern world.