Gary Goldberg's relationship to the natural world and his reverence for the magic found in nuance and subtleties has been with him since he first had a camera placed in his hands. A photographer's eye is one that looks for what is special in the ordinary, capturing the beauty that is often passed by. In Gary's photographs of the walls in Oaxaca, decay is not just the death of what was there before, but exposes what is underneath, creating life through textures and shapes. Upon first glance you may not view the images as a crumbling walls, but maybe as organisms in a Petri dish, or an arial view of land from the sky.
The process for translating photographs into textiles is one that takes weeks of work from the talented hands of the Taller de Afelpado team at the Centro de las Artes de San Augustin.
We begin with the photographer's eye, capturing a moment in time on celluloid film or digital cards.
The photo is then blown up to the desired size of the finished textile. A 1/4 inch piece of industrial felt is rolled and cut out. The photograph is hung on a window so that the sun can act as the light in a Lightbox and the image is traced with tailor's chalk onto a large piece of paper. When the trace is complete it is transferred to the industrial felt, leaving a line drawing of the photograph.
From this point the raw wool roving is dyed, chosen and blended to recreate the colors in Gary's photograph.
Barbed needles and dense foam are used to punch and link the wool roving into the industrial felt, recreating the photograph.
Up to 5 people may work on one of the pieces over the course of its creation. Each session builds up texture, depth and colors. Recreating edges and and brush strokes with the wool medium.
As the photo begins to arise out of the weeks of work, details, highlights and shadow are placed precisely, to accentuate the beauty in the deterioration.
When the piece is finished, a photo of the incredible artisans who worked on each textile is sewn into the finished piece and the tapestry is signed.
The completed pieces are then rolled up and shipped back to the states where they can be admired, celebrated and purchased by the public.