Andrew Sovjani is a fine art photographer and printmaker. He grew up in a family of working artists and after a few years of trying to escape the artistic pull, both as a mechanical engineer and an international businessman living in Japan, he returned to his creative roots and picked up a camera. Since then, his award-winning work has been shown in exhibitions throughout the U.S., Europe, and Japan and is held in many public and private collections. He has won awards of distinction at many of the top fine arts festivals in the nation and was a finalist for the Critical Mass book awards. Andrew has his studio in Easthampton, an old mill town near the Berkshires in western Massachusetts.
As I age, I’ve become more and more attracted to things that are disappearing. These are objects and places that are seemingly no longer needed in today’s society. My work captures nostalgia and our past. It is meant to be a hint or trigger that bring back memories like the smoky sweet smell of pipe tobacco and a dear uncle or grandfather.
Since I often think that I am a painter trapped inside a photographer’s body, I have chosen to print some of my pieces as reAction prints, a multi-day printing technique that I’ve developed that blurs the lines between painting and photography. The first day, traditional film negatives are projected onto silver gelatin paper and developers are applied with brushes, guided only by the dim amber glow of the safelight. Then, over the next several days, bleaches, acids, and various homemade toners are wiped, brushed, stenciled, and dripped onto each print, altering the silver compounds in the paper. When to halt the process is determined by intuition and aided by the experience of ruining hundreds of sheets of paper. Tonal and color changes happen throughout the process so that I don’t know what the final image will look like until the print is dry.
The end result is a one-of-a-kind print that embodies my original photographic vision as well as the event of printing—that unique combination of emotion, environmental conditions, and happenchance