On a recent Portland, Oregon visit, I dropped in to visit The Ampersand Gallery on Alberta Street. Owner, Myles Haselhorst always has something on the walls and shelves to hold my interest. This time he was preparing for an exhibition of new photographs by Los Angeles artist, Tarrah Krajnak. Coinciding with this exhibit was the release of South Sound, a monograph of Krajnak's new work, designed and published by Ampersand in an edition of 100. A deluxe edition of 15 includes a signed 11x14 inch pigment print from Krajnak's new series of images.
South Sound originated after a Winter spent living and working at a small cabin built in 1954 on Puget Sound in Washington State. The cabin became a repository of decade-old books, record albums, and shoeboxes full of nameless photographs left behind by one family over the course of sixty long Summers. While thumbing through some of the old books one evening, Krajnak picked up a copy of Jung's last major work on juxtapositions and psychic opposites, Mysterium Coniunctionis, and instinctively combined it with one of the indelible found photos taken in Africa of a smiling priest and a woman in a green dress. This simple act of juxtaposition suggested further combinations to explore. Krajnak's inventive storytelling leaves us to our imagination in the best possible way. It doesn't explain, but reframes, and makes us wonder.
Tarrah Krajnak's South Sound work resonated with me on many levels. For most of my youth, I lived on the Southern Puget Sound, and may have crossed paths with some of the people in these photos. I also love storytelling—even the kind we make up in our own minds. Most impressive however, are the large pigment prints in exquisite detail. These can be purchased separately in three sizes. For more information on the prints or the book, visit here. Or if you happen to be in Seattle this coming weekend, it is a good reason to drop by the Seattle Antiquarian Book Fair and see this work first hand at The Ampersand Gallery's booth. There will be close to 90 dealers attending the Book Fair this year which will be held both days at the Seattle Center Exhibition Hall.