Chris Corson-Scott

Mark Adams Retouching Photographs at Studio La Gonda

Mark Adams Retouching Photographs at Studio La Gonda by Chris Corson-Scott

Artwork Detail

Mark Adams Retouching Photographs at Studio La Gonda 2013 is a formidable yet intimate portrait of one of New Zealand’s pre-eminent camera artists. Like Mark Adams and Laurence Aberhart, Corson Scott uses an almost redundant photographic technique of large scale negatives. In this image he renders a portrait of Mark Adams at work on his old-fashioned craft while spotting and retouching his contact print made from an 8 by 10 inch black and white negative.

The view of Studio La Gonda is a portrait of an archaic photographic studio filled with all of the chemicals necessary for the development of negatives and the printing of archival black and white prints. There is no other photographic studio extant in Auckland that looks like this. In fact, such artist collaborative studios do not exist anywhere else in New Zealand. Soon it is likely that Studio La Gonda will no longer exist.

By looking at Mark Adams at work, Corson Scott has not ‘posed’ a ‘subject’. He has recorded his friend and colleague undertaking the laborious retouching that he has spent thousands of hours doing over the last four decades. The mix of daylight and artificial light is almost painterly in its rendition. It is as if Mark Adams portraits emanate light from what he is working on.

Portraits of artists in their studio were a frequent subject in 19th and 20th century photography but rarely occur at present. For the last few years Corson Scott has been making portraits of artists and artist’s studio. In this self-initiated project he is returning to a project that is similar to the one that Marti Friedlander began a half century ago.

Mark Adams Retouching Photographs at Studio La Gonda
Production date
archival pigment print
1500 x 1890 mm
Credit line
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, purchased 2015
Accession no
Copying restrictions apply
New Zealand Art
Display status
Not on display

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