Meet Bill Fink who is an artist and photographer and has created ‘Time and Matter Photography’. This art form is about photograph-similar pictures created from any material. That is to say that he discarded the traditional approaches of making pictures and made use of human hair, human ashes, soil and almost every other thing that you can think of to create images that akin to photos.
Bill is 60 years old and has a number of such portraits to his name. The most notable images that he has created include ‘My Eye’ – created from his own hair, ‘Flowers’ – made from the pollen of those flowers, ‘Quaker Oats’- made from Quaker Oats and the portrait of Bob – created from Bob’s ashes. The portraits look like vintage photographs and you can’t tell if it’s really a photograph or just a portrait created from this peculiar and unique technique.
Bill says; ‘Photography makes an image from light reflecting off materials. Time and Matter Photography can capture the image and the material together as one, and since everything that exists is material or matter, it makes sense that materials are important! For example: some people are willing to pay a lot of money for the glove of Michael Jackson, or the gown of a movie star, but how important would a picture be if a teaspoon of John Lennon’s ashes was turned into his memorial picture, or if some of Paul McCartney’s hair was turned into his picture, or if a picture of Neil Armstrong was made of moon rock, or if a picture of the Hindenburg was made from a scrap of fabric from the Hindenburg.’
(These have been created from human hair)
Bill Fink began his career in photography when he was only 14 years of age and managed to get a job in a photo lab. He spent all his money, which he earned, into experimenting with different photo emulsions and chemicals. In 1969, after a myriad of experiments, he discovered that using alcohol a developed picture could be preserved. He says; ‘Although it created a bluish green color of sorts, it did keep the picture from turning black once the light was turned on. I still have that dated picture and I have never stopped experimenting. Questions inspire me to make experiments, and experiments create my art. Time and Matter Photography creates more than a mere image; it produces an artifact that becomes a piece of history,” Bill writes on his website. “It also creates one of a kind artwork. It allows for experimentation in other fields like making pictures with enameling, glass and ceramic decorating, leafing metals, or perhaps even scientific or criminal photography documentation.’
(Made from Egg Shells)
(Made from Human Ash)
(Flower-Made from Pollen)
According to Bill, it requires effort and curiosity to create the portraits he has created, however, we are guessing you’d have to be talented on a level of ‘Epicness’ to achieve this! What do you think?