Monday, August 20, 2012

Interview with Carol Kleinman

Carol Kleinman Paris Rose Reflection
single exposure reflection on canvas 45 x 34 in.

What excites you about photography?

Over the past 40 years I’ve worked in many media, among them sculpture, oils, watercolors, glass, collage and construction. The type of photography I do combines a great deal of what I’ve learned from these media, particularly collage. The most exciting thing to me about the photography I do is the direct connection to reality – the presentation of a moment in time. I print on large canvases to blur the line between photography and painting.

You often travel for your subject matter. Do you see something ‘out there’ that you don’t see around the corner or at home?

Travel stimulates my awareness and creativity. I love to wander around cities like Paris, Moscow, New York, and Chicago. Sometimes I’ll walk for hours and not take any photographs. It’s like going on a treasure hunt. Then I’ll spot a reflection on a window and get captivated, drawn in to what I’m seeing. I lose all track of time as I work on finding just the right light, just the right angle and just the right moment.

In the Photoshop age, where it is so easy for artists and photographers to composite, alter, and manipulate photography, why do you stay true to single exposures? Is it important to you? If so, why?
I am a documentary photographer. My main goal is to expose and document the many layers of reality in reflections. I want to encourage people to look more closely at the world and see the richness and depth of everyday experience. My work says, "Look more deeply...notice the complexities of life...enrich yourself with the wonders that surround you at each moment." The impact of my work stems from the fact that my images actually existed at a specific time and place and are not my creations. Were I to "Photoshop" and combine images, that impact would be lost. Nothing I do is set up or manufactured. What you see in my images is what I saw. I seek out  images in world and with a single "click" of my camera offer them to the viewer.
Carol Kleinman Lost in NY Reflection
single exposure reflection on canvas  44 x 30 in.

Is scale important to you? How do you decide what size to print? Does it matter?

In my work, size does matter. I have found that large canvases make a strong statement and have a unique impact on the viewer. I tailor the size of each canvas to each image. I visualize the two working together to convey the mystery in reality in the most potent way possible.

Your images stop at the brink of abstraction. Do you feel it is important to you to keep one foot in ‘reality’

I strive to create a tension between abstraction and reality. It is critical that my canvases reflect a “reality” that actually existed at a given place and time. The illusion of abstraction is a launching pad from which the viewer can dig more deeply into that reality and hopefully find deeper meaning and emotions.

Whom do you make art for?

I make my canvases for people for whom the surface of things is not enough. As most of us visually go through life, we rarely focus the complexity of what’s around us. Our minds are too busy. Our other senses (smell, taste, touch and sound) can also distract us from seeing the depth of a visual moment in time. Through my photography, I hope to enrich people’s lives, encouraging them to see with more intention, to appreciate just how wonderful our inter-related world is.

Carol Kleinman

Carol Kleinman's exhibition begins September  4, 2012.


  1. Hi Carol, Listen I will be down there on the 3rd. of September. Hope to attend your artist show. Aloha, your classmate Wendell Abbey

  2. Hi again Carol, Please send me an invitation before I come down there in September on the 3rd. My address is 2791 Vegas Valley Drive, Las Vegas, Nevada 89121. Your classmate Wendell Abbey