CHERVINSKY’S AN EXPERIMENT IN PERSPECTIVE
Experimenting with visual perspective through the use of chalk markings, Chervinsky creates images that invite the viewer to contemplate the ambiguous boundary between the real and the imaginary.
Chervinsky describes his work “as an attempt to find metaphors within the laws of nature that can be universally applied to every day life.” Conceptually, he claims, “the work deals with the divide between rational or scientific explanations of existence and man’s need to explain the world around him with various systems of belief.”
His photographic experiment began when he tried to answer the question: “Could one draw a circle in a square corner of a room and still have the circle look round in a photograph?” To create his photographs, Chervinsky builds vertical and horizontal chalkboard surfaces, then points a view camera at the 90-degree angle formed by their intersection. With chalk he creates markings drawn in projection so it appears, from the viewpoint of the camera, that the markings are floating in space or on the surface of the photograph.
Chervinsky’s chalk markings—arrows, diagrams, scientific formulae—are juxtaposed with real objects, giving the photographed image an effect that is at once visually unsettling and intellectually provocative.
Exploring scientific explanations for everyday occurrences is a very comfortable space for Chervinsky. An engineer by trade, he has spent the past 18 years running a particle accelerator in one of Harvard University’s applied science labs. This work not only involves him in experimental research in physics, chemistry and materials science, but touches on a diverse array of specialties such as biology, archaeology and fine art conservation and analysis as well.
In addition to their rich subject matter, Chervinsky’s prints display an astonishing level of verisimilitude. He takes advantage of state of the art digital printing technologies to produce flawless large-scale prints that exceed the quality and proportions attainable using traditional techniques.
“In his photographs Chervinsky explores the concept of depth,” said Griffin Museum Executive Director Blake Fitch. “His masterful printing accentuates the depth of his images. He’s a scientist and approaches printing like a scientist – always seeking perfection.”