Today we have the pleasure of sharing the work of photographer and master printer Stan Klimek.
Would you please tell us a little about yourself?
In the early 70’s after high school I traveled quite a bit and even ended up in NYC driving a taxicab. When I got back home (California) in my spare time I frequented the local library and naturally gravitated to the fine art section which in turn led me to the fine art of photography and the doors flew open as if to say What took you so long? From then on I knew I found what I was looking for, my father bought me my first camera and I entered Cal State Univ, Fullerton and studied under Ron Leighton and Eileen Cowin.
Why do you create?
For such a simple question it is difficult to explain. Photography for me became the last thing I thought about before I went to sleep and the first thing when I awoke. Once again I need to say that my studying of fine art in my early years was inspirational. How did the artist execute his idea, what tools did he use to create that beautiful intangible image that stands the test of time. You know it when you see it, the image takes on a life of its own that no longer needs you and the thrill of feeling you were successful.
Who has had influence on your creative process?
Well my early instructors, I had to drive all the way into Los Angeles to put on layaway my first photographic print from my instructor. In addition to pouring through books, the list is almost endless. Bresson, Luis Gonzales Palma, Eikoh Hosoe, Imogen Cunningham, Robert Frank, Kenro Izu etc, etc, etc. Some of these artist or estates I have had the pleasure of printing their work in platinum.
Please tell us about an image (not your own) thyat has stayed with you over time.
What image of yours would you say taught you an important lesson?
“Horizontal Nude” that was inspired by Eikoh Hosoe where I had the pleasure of showing to Eikoh.
What makes a good day for you creatively speaking?
When you feel that in your hunt for an image that you got lucky and later staring at the print for an hour or so and realizing that it reached all your expectations.
If you could spend a day with any other photographer living or passed who would it be?
Extremely difficult question, there are so many! Bruce Davidson comes to mind his commitment to shooting the book East 100st, NYC and Brooklyn Gang. I continue to marvel at his commitment to documentary photography.
How important is the photographic community to you?
In my younger days it was paramount. John Richardson and Norma Smith taught me platinum printing. Sadly, Norma Smith just recently passed away, gone but not forgotten.
What equipment have you found essential in the making of your work?
Living in Los Angeles I had the opportunity to basically rent what ever was needed to complete an idea whether it was strobe, studio, large format, silks etc. I love it all and became familiar with most of it.
Is there something in photography that you would like to try?
Traditional photogravure but I stay away from it, the rabbit hole is much to deep to master so I stay with platinum, all gum and gum-over-platinum.
What’s on the horizon?
I do quite a bit of printing for other photographers that soaks up much of my time. The photographer Robert Adams once said, “Its morning and the truck is full of gas”. I miss that and would like to see more of it.
Thank you Stan for sharing your work and words with us.
To learn more about work of Stan Klimek please visit his site at Stan Klimek.
“I am proud to own one of Stan’s beautiful platinum prints, and I’ve seen a few of his other prints (gum, in particular) in person. They are all something to behold. Master printer all around, and a good person.” Diana Bloomfield
“I worked with Stan on Keron’s book. Great opportunity to get to know Stan and witness his expertise and dedication to the platinum process. I recently purchased one of Stan’s gorgeous prints!” Mark Muse