Christopher Porché West : "Artifex Imaginarius"
They get to tell the story!
"My journey to the Crescent City is never complete without a visit to the soulful heart of your creations. You excel in connecting and enhancing. Your gift is to stimulate the deepest place with sacred revelry and to bring a sense of place simultaneously. You are one of my living heroes.- B.L."
A video rendering of the Artist's Statement for the Bank of Soul:
Porché West’s artful expressions exist at the nexus of photography and sculpture, the point where photography and sculpture converge. Dramatic and thought-provoking photographs are encased within salvaged architectural elements adorned with thought-provoking, symbolic objects. The net effect is additive - the sum is greater than the parts - photographs incorporated within sculpture deepen the meaning and message of the art.
It is Porché West’s contention that flat photographs fail to achieve the richness and dimensionality of photographic sculpture. Though a framed photograph can tell a good story, a photograph 'housed' in sculpture gives a more nuances and deep narrative. Salvaged architectural debris door casings, flooring, window frames, knobs and pulls give the photograph a sense of place, an authenticity that comes from being at home in the soul of the artist’s works.
Porché West’s assemblage work is cultural 'curatorialism' masked as art. The simple behaviors and beliefs of ordinary people are universal and easily understood. Religious faith, death and burial rituals, celebration and suffering are comprehended, if not shared, by all humanity. To see one’s own emotions in the face of a Haitian child or the hands of an elderly woman in New Orleans, is to be reminded that that which binds us together is greater than that which divides us.
We are in essence, One.
Browse the galleries for themed portraits and scenes...
"The soul would have no rainbow if the eyes had no tears."
Visit the studio by appointment:
3201 Burgundy Street New Orleans, Louisiana 70117
My philosophical interests in photography are to find threads that bind peoples of difference backgrounds who collectively are sustained by faith in life itself. For in each personal visage there is a connection with its origins, its sense of faith, its practices in crafts and arts, in human relations, in healing and meditation which reflect that faith. In some ways photographic depictions are like the true existentialists, they "live in the moment." Thus, they are released from the burden of the past and without the fear of the future. Faces are approachable, for they hold something that invites reflection; and looking into their "hearts" there is a lightness and a grace we might all emulate. The ultimate puzzle is that photographic visages hold the history of a people and the feelings in their hearts; we discover how they all fit together while we honor how each piece is not like any other.