The Mental Museum

Jack Perno

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…comes from a fine art background and has now turned his attention to fine art photography. His striking polaroid transfers take on a living breathing entity of their own. If you have ever worked with transfers before, you would know that the emulsion itself; the film that the image has been burned into lifts off onto a placenta like substance. It is wet and fragile and often warm from the warm water used to initially remove it from the polaroid card. The image has been burned into this thin film. It can tear or wrinkle very easily and needs to be handled with a great amount of care. Perno’s work incorporates these wrinkles into the work, representing the notion that they are in fact deliberate; Achieving a large transfer with not wrinkles is very hard to do. The term polaroid transfer refers to the process of removing this translucent and fragile film from the polaroid card and placing it onto another surface. In this case, the images are transfered to 300lb thick soft press watercolor paper. Rather than using an image on a 35mm slide film and an instrument called a Daylab to burn the image onto polaroid film, Perno caputres his images directly onto 8×10 polaroid sheet film. This one sheet of polaroid can produce only one transfer where as Daylabs can use any slide film over and over again to create an infinite number of polaroids.  Because he is capturing his initial image on the 8×10 sheet polaroid, his process limits him to creating editions of only one. As they cannot be reproduced, Perno states that he often finds himself quite attached to each of his pieces. The end results are these truly unique works that  not only please us visually, but stimulate our tactile senses. 


Written by thementalmuseum

May 8, 2008 at 8:19 pm

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  1. Hi,
    Thanks for the kind words. I appreciate it. One amendment. My origins are actually in the fine arts. I’m a graduate of the Kansas City Art Institute.
    Like many artists, I took assignments to survive and drifted from some of my dreams.
    Over the years, I’ve returned to the post visual process that has always stimulated my curiosity.
    Unfortunately, Polaroid has ceased the production of 809.
    Fortunately, the silver gelatin print lives on.

    Jack Perno

    July 14, 2008 at 6:21 pm

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