John Dudgale

“My style has changed,” he says, referring to his early work before his blindness. “I now have clarity I did not have then. My photographic vision is clearer now more than ever.”

John Dugdale, born in Connecticut in 1960, is a remarkable and much-loved artist. He graduated from the School of Visual Arts in 1984. Over the past twenty-four years, working first in a state of near blindness that became complete in 2011, he created photographs as if from his soul. He began his career as a successful commercial photographer. Dugdale’s theme is one of survival and the triumph of the creative spirit; his vision is of gracious beauty, is emotionally rich and sensual.

John was diagnosed HIV positive over thirty years ago, which eventually resulted in a state of total blindness. Life forced him to see and photograph in a new and more personal way. John’s pictures are influenced by 19th century imagery, as seen in his dream-like portraits or in his ordered still-lifes. His subjects are portraits and figure studies of his friends and family, flowers, his collection of antique china and glass, and the rural landscape of his home. They are also intimate glimpses of private moments and personal spaces. There is a tranquil and timeless quality to his work.

From image to presentation the artist’s hand is apparent from start to finish. He uses a nineteenth century large format camera producing classic, ethereal blue cyanotypes, a simple rustic process invented in 1842. John has also produced albumen, gelatin chloride, and platinum prints.

At age 57, he has reached a notable level of artistic acclaim with his photographs in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City, among other noteworthy collections; and more than thirty solo exhibitions worldwide.

John currently lives and works in his attic studio in Greenwich Village, as well as, his 19th century farmhouse located in Upstate New York.

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