Frazier King, born in Bristol, Virginia, received a BA in economics and a JD from the University of Virginia. He lives and works in Houston, Texas. He is mostly self taught but has attended classes and workshops sponsored by the Southwest School of Artin San Antonio, Texas, and other institutions. His most recent work (“Orchidaceae”) explores the nature of the orchid and enquires whether we may see sensual or spiritual reflections of ourselves. This work has been shown in numerous exhibitions throughout the United States as well as in Mexico, Canada, Peru and France. Solo shows have been at Fotofest 2002 in Houston, TX: Galeria De Arte Fotografica in San Miguel, Mexico; and at Honeysuckle Gallery in Fayetteville, Texas. A second body of work is an examination of whether each of our collections of personal objects, when photographed tableau, reflects an interior landscape. Finally, work done while traveling in Mexico looks for poetic reflections of the basics of daily life. The two bodies of earlier work have been shown in numerous exhibitions throughout the United States.
Orchid blossoms transcend their daily existence. Of course, each exists as a wonderful, sensuous blossom. However, each blossom also seems to exist in another world. In some cases a blossom will join the human world. One may be a caricature of a human figure, such as a ballerina or a whirling dervish. Another may convey a gesture, like a courtesy. Many blossoms also have a very human sensuality: with veins and shapes that are like our own. In other cases, a blossom may be from a strange and distant world. We may see a strange prehistoric bird or a small spacecraft from a distant planet. The nature of their existence is limited only by the imagination of the beholder. They speak to each beholder differently, in a very intimate way, in the way in which the viewer is open.
I live with and raise orchids. I feel like creatures rather than flowers surround me. Each orchid asks to be photographed in its own way. I merely listen and follow the instruction of each. Each orchid lives in its own world and invites us to join it there.
In order to convey the special world of the orchid to you, I wait for each orchid to speak, and then I seize the moment. I use a 4 x 5 Deardorff with a long lens and long bellows to capture the essence of the blossom. I then subject each negative to the solarization technique (made famous by Man Ray) in order to create the atmosphere or environment in which each orchid blossom lives its unique existence. Each negative is printed in a straightforward way on warm tone silver gelatin paper and toned with selenium.
The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris, France
George Eastman House, Rochester, New York
Harry Ransom Center, University of Texas, Austin, Texas
Museu de Arte Moderna, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.