Chet Morrison is an award-winning photographer based in the Deep Ellum arts district of downtown Dallas, Texas. After a distinguished career in commercial photography spanning over three decades, Chet turned to his true passion of creating photographic art in 2004. In his work he weaves bits and pieces of salvaged antique photographs into his own stunning landscapes to create fantastical portraits.
Signed and numbered prints are available by request, and range from $600 - $1000. Requests can be made by using the phone number or email at the bottom of the page. To purchase other merchandise with Chet's work please visit the web store through the link above.
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.