My work is most often about small things. Drawn to places and pieces overlooked, the discarded, disregarded and ignored arouse my interest in spite of what they are or more likely because of what they are. The world is inundated with spectacular answers that do not always announce them in an equally spectacular fashion. They lie waiting to be found.
A conduit for messages and conversations, real and imagined, walls are marked upon and marked over, altered by reactions, responses, loss and time. Elements of those and the layered dialogue they contain evolve... contradicting or supporting the original cypher. Parts fade, even disappear as new marks emerge.
My current obsession is locating those messages. I feel like an archeologist at times, scanning the terrain, peering into shadows and sifting through the debris left by unknown contributors or fashioned by time. Walls in the city are the landscape of our cave paintings.
While my work is abstract, at times surrealist in nature, the origins are in documentation. I do not attempt to define the message, only direct the viewer to it.
"The unifying thread in his work is more about point of view and style, rather than specific content or theme. His statement is the art work itself - mysterious, expressionistic, fragile and elusive." Lydia Takeshita ~ Executive Director LA Artcore Gallery
"Brian Nieman brings us into his private world. Each one of his unique prints are jewels and the best example of Contemporary Surrealism. His works are small in format and large in content. I find a new revelation each time I look at Brian's art. He definitely has a unique perspective that is in a class of it's own." Tony Clark ~ Chevalier dans l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres Director ~ Affinity Gallery
The photographs here are one-of-a-kind Polaroid mono-prints. The deconstruction of the image creates an alternative view, eliminating some details while creating others.
The methods employed produce results that are far from certain. Dozens of independently processed exposures may result in one acceptable image.
Gross underexposure and development times exceeding 1000% result in a solarized effect at times. The unique color of the Polaroid print comes from oxidation during and after the exaggerated processing.
The work transgresses traditional boundaries of most photographic processes, revealing unanticipated and surreal images.
"Brian Nieman brings us into his private world. Each one of his unique prints are jewels and the best example of Contemporary Surrealism. His works are small in format and large in content. I find a new revelation each time I look at Brian's art. He definitely has a unique perspective that is in a class of it's own."
Tony Clark ~ Chevalier dans l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres & Gallery Director
Cyanotypes (or salt prints or blueprints) are one of the very earliest forms of photography, dating back to 1842…just three years after the initial discovery of photography. The process was discovered by Sir John Herschel. After experimenting with many substances he discovered that iron salts (ferric ammonium citrate) were very sensitive to the ultra violet rays of sunlight and would change the composition of the iron salt from ferric to ferrous. He found that the combination of ferric ammonium citrate and potassium ferricyanide, when exposed to light would form ferric ferricyanide, resulting in the blue color of the cyanotype.
I love this 180 year old process of image making. It is at the very foundation of the traditional photographic process, which is important, in the age of all things digital,
one of six banners created for ‘Sin Frontiers’ solo exhibition about humane immigration (commissioned by CHIRLA)
Cyanotype print from digital negative
Hand-Colored salt print
pre study for cyanotype banner
pre study for cyanotype banner
This project was initially titled 'The Last Days of the Los AngelesTimes.' The symptom of a newspaper in an accelerated state of decline was evidenced by the neglected and deteriorating news racks. The photographs are of those racks.
I CAME ACROSS
"It takes a creative and dedicated educator like Brian to not only involve the students, but to elicit thoughtful responses and ongoing dialogue. The work our students have been producing with him is a testament to his patience, tireless encouragement and ability as a teacher. Brian Nieman is a great educator."
Dr. Chaz Austin ~ Director of Education, Hollywood Entertainment Museum and Author
"Brian does such an incredible job with the kids. They love him and really look forward to photography each week, so much that they ask me everyday when he will be coming in again. My students choose to skip their recess in order to continue their photography with Brian. One student is academically challenged, but Brian connects with him in a way that I have been unable."
Angela Ranganathan ~ 5th Grade Teacher, Gardner Elementary School
Photography made me understand what some things mean. I thought photography was just taking pictures but it's not, it's something more." Fatima 6th
"Photography is important to me because my feelings can turn into art. That is something I thought could never happen. Photography, to me, is both a door and a key. It opens up my mind and lets me through to express my feelings." Christine 6th
"I want to take a picture of the ranch that my mom and my relatives grew up on in Mexico. I won't be able to visit and it may change. If I could take that picture, it would remind me of that time." Xochilt 5th
"In art is a world of possibilities. If you look closely, you can find a piece of magnificent beauty."Octavio 6th
"When I came to photography class, it opened my eyes...now I see the world better." Leslie 8th
"Photography, to me, is beautiful, amazing and fun. Photography can show when I'm happy, sad, scared, mad or nervous. I can communicate with my pictures and open people's eyes about what is happening in the world." Hailey 6th
"Photography means a lot to me. It has inspired me to look at pictures in a different way. Photography is really important because it makes me feel like I'm in a whole different world. Every photograph is beautiful." David 6th
"My main inspiration is when I think about the night. I like to see a city when it is night, from a high place." Tierra 7th
"I'm trying to make people observe how art and nature are in my world and what I see in my daily life." Elizabeth 7th
When I'm in my world of color, inspiration comes and takes over." Samantha 6th
"Mostly, my pictures can tell how random things are. " Jessica 7th
"Photography is an important part of my life, helping me through a lot of tough times. When I feel bad or sad, I look through fun pictures and old memories to make me feel better. I like photography because it allows me to express my emotions without words. It also allows other people to see the way I think. I want the viewer to look at my photographs the way I see my work. To me, photography is about capturing beautiful moments and the way I express myself. Photography is often misunderstood. Someone can look at a picture and say it isn't worth anything but others cherish it, to remember things they don't want to forget. Photography is a part of my life I never want to lose." Ty-Yhanna 6th
having another eye
going to the other side
blasting off to another universe
discovering different worlds Jasmin 5th
You can create something no one else has ever thought of. It's a life you can see if you search for the unknown. It can change you life forever...it has changed my life." Suzy 8th
"Every detail counts when taking a photograph. Those details determine perspective." Suzette 8th
"Photography made me understand what some things mean. I thought photography was just taking pictures but it's not, it's something more." Fatima 6th