Midwest Photographers Project: Richard Koenig

Pearl Street #1, 1999

About the Exhibition

Richard Koenig’s Ambivalent Views are carefully crafted illusions that utilize the camera’s capability to produce optical tricks and the artist’s skillful layering of photographs onto a single plane. Often featuring an image of a private space or intimate moment inset within a public space, the resulting photographs evoke thoughts of our own private moments in the most generic and impersonal spaces—melding two frequently experienced conditions.

Like the photograph to the left, Koenig constructs images by physically distorting the inset photograph so that when it is rephotographed, the unique perspective of the camera brings the artist’s virtual structure into alignment. Koenig states, “By contradicting flatness and space, by underscoring the importance of perspective, I hope to confuse the objective with the subjective in a larger sense. As opposed to resolving issues, I want to increase a perception of tension, to dwell in that which is uncertain.”

Born in Bloomington, Indiana in 1960, Koenig received his BFA from Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, New York (1985) and his MFA from Indiana University, Bloomington (1998). He currently teaches in the art department at Kalamazoo College, Michigan.

-Natasha Egan, Associate Director