John J. Carlano
Adjunct Associate
BFA, Philadelphia College of Art

John Carlano stays busy running a commercial photography studio located in The Crane Arts Building in Philadelphia. Johns client list is diverse ranging from Art based to Corporate based interests, from product shooting for Motorola, or RCA , to portraits for the various schools at The University of Pennsylvania, or diverse Magazine assignments, or shooting tequila production in Mexico for The Siembra Azul Corporation. Johns primary interest remains in a life long investigation of a fine art based image making, changing materials and content whenever it seems appropriate. For 20 years John worked with chemically altering silver prints to achieve patinas beyond toning, manifested in portraits and still lives and landscapes. Currently John is discovering how digital technologies can address similar visual concerns in a way that is less toxic to the environment and his own body, photographing " photographs" of the nude and manipulating the image in multiple ways. Questions are asked about what is new and what is historic and what is photographic. John Carlanos photographs have been shown nationally and internationally since 1978.


The Blue Prints, 2007-present

Generally speaking, I have learned to make my work intuitively and trust what happens. The analytical component comes later when a reasonable perspective can be attained. I have had the experience of thinking I was doing one thing, and then a year later something quite different and quite obvious emerges from the same work.

Having said that, for me this work is about making the effort in a single image, to keep multiple notions in play, from various sources and time periods, including the dreamt or imagined, the thing recalled, the historical and technical, all at the same time. To look forward and backward, and retain what seems relevant to the present and to the image in play.

The rectangle can accommodate what you put into it and using modern tools to unite all the various elements is limited only by ones imagination. There is a play between the simplicity of the frame and the multiplicity of the content.

The references in the images themselves are abundant and diverse, some more significant than others, some textural, formal, etc. The influences too are diverse and the nods are with affection. To accommodate all these things in a cohesive frame is the problem that I set for myself.

My interest from my own photographic beginnings has never been to describe what is front of the camera, that activity has abundant practitioners, but to use the language and tools of photography to construct, or “make” images. The interest is not in reproducing, but in producing something that never before existed.

I am certain of few things, except that perception is based on the viewers experience and knowledge which is something one just cannot know. Their desire to see and decipher plays a large part. I assume that the work will mean different things to different people, regardless of my references and any intentions. Therefore I am hesitant to be really specific about my motivations for each image. Ultimately, I am interested in producing the work. What happens after that is of less concern for me. I do however work with the assumption that the work will be seen by thoughtful people. My desire is to make the viewing experience engaging.

Class Schedule, Spring 2017

08:30AM - 11:20AM
01:00PM - 03:50PM
Senior Photography Workshop

Contact Info

Office: Terra Hall 1501D
Tel: 215-717-6540
Fax: 215-717-6304