Artist Spotlight: Austin Armstrong
Being a purest is biased at best–divisive at worst. Still the tangible stirring nature of using film over the crisp precise easily altered filters seeped in ones and zeros cannot be overlooked. The loss of depth at the altar of texture through which unspeakably we recognize the nostalgia, the youth, the WOW of film will always cause manual prints forever to be Karamazov. Possibly our subconscious grasps the difference in how there is no now with film; between aperture click and dark room is a lifetime. Digital is instantaneous, immediate, with each shot on film comes a question in the back of our minds, “was this moment as appreciated and fleeting as it now seems?” There is only one answer, a resounding, “nowhere nearly enough.” Film holds a romantic connection to the bygone while unknowingly we rejoice in having a flash of it immortalized idealistic.
Through the photographs of Austin Armstrong we sense the bridge from our place in this moment to the past. There is an ideology to every single shot, a line running through the all of appreciation, understanding, a therapeutic closeness holding hands with time eternal. Only when asking Austin about details on the cameras he uses does the unrealized realness of this Jungian line we grasp yet cannot define begins to come into the light; without intention, without having said a word beforehand to guide our opinions, there is revelatory understanding tapping us on the shoulder as he describes his two main cameras; a 1970’s Rollei 35mm he inherited from his grandfather and a 1950’s Argus C3 he purchased for $2o on ebay which is the same as his father used throughout high school and college. This is as perfect an explanation we could hope for to grasp what it is that makes his work transport us down a line of immovably fluid time. It’s the head space he is in while working through each roll. Words remembered having said forgotten yet tip tasted on our proverbial tongues can be found in every frame of his, there is a presence to the work not often experienced in our click share of every minute existence. Not many photographers can stir us in this way regardless of where the lens is aimed. A new voice such as his does not appear very often.
Austin Armstrong – Instagram