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    ‘Atomic Family’ and/or ‘Resurrection Of Lost Memory’

     

    Robert Bharda, digital artist (c) 2020

     
     
    ARTIST STATEMENT:
     
    This collection is part of a larger family album of color slides taken by my father between 1948 – 1958 with a single lens reflex Leica that he returned with from WWII. The venues are all from the Jackson Heights, Queens, NYC neighborhood, upstate Hudson Valley.
     
    In 1999, the collection suffered a nearly incomprehensible accident. Stored temporarily in a cottage basement on Pender Island, Canada, they were soaked by a water heater malfunction. The damage was not discovered for some months. The emulsion of 95% of the images had literally ‘melted’ into fields of color and as well were covered with dirt and mold.
     
    I could not simply throw them away. Ten years went by before it occurred to me that the images still had a retrievable importance that transcended the original intent and framing. I began an ‘adventure,’ if you will, of digitally cataloging/cleaning/restoring the slides to document the significance that they still retained for me, and what expressive strength they possessed for a larger audience.
     
    Sixty images remained ‘identifiable’ and another 300 or so had dissolved into pure form abstraction/vivid color not unlike my “smears/Quantisms.”
     
    What have I sought in this…. rebirth/phoenix? That even in ‘imbroglio,’ an Aboriginal ‘soak,’ I’ve found recognition/identity/solace/surcease of sorrow in this ‘dreamtime’ window. In a very real sense, the images are for me ‘spookville’ big-time….but in a good way. Hand in hand with each view, is a ‘title’ which if anything offers the viewer a ‘key’ to what…I see in the image.
     

    Click on image below to view exhibit

     

    About The Artist

    Robert Bharda

    Robert Bharda, originally from New York City, has resided in the northwest United States  where for the last 35 years he has specialized in vintage photographica as a profession, everything from salt prints to polaroids. His illustrations/artwork have appeared in numerous publications, both in the U.S. and abroad, and are current on covers of Naugatuck River Review, Blue Five NoteBook, and soon to be released Rose Romano’s new novel. His portfolios of images have been featured in Cahoodahoodaling, Blue Five, Superstition, aaduna, Serving House Journal, The Adirondack Review, The Critical Pass, Cirque, Catamaran, and Santa Clara Review. Also a writer, his poetry, fiction and critical reviews have been published in The North American Review, Northwest Review, Shenandoah, Quarterly West, Willow Springs, ACM, Cutbank, Fine Madness, Kansas Quarterly, Yellow Silk, Poets On, many anthologies and forthcoming in Cimarron Review. Bob’s exhibition can be found in The Borders Gallery of this issue.