James Baran’s photographs are a twenty-first century reflection reminiscent of Eugène Atget. Baran’s images strike the viewer as random snapshots of street scenes and shop windows, yet more subtly Baran explores the intersection of desire, product, and showcase in an urban landscape where brand-obsessed consumers treat fashion as religion.
The photographs comprising Baran’s Reflections series or his Photo-Impressionism work often exhibit multiple layers in reflection that challenge the viewer's perception of the scene. It is at this intersection of subject, scene and light where Baran is able to capture a painterly effect from an otherwise random moment. The resulting image may look like an imaginary scene or a painting, yet it is a true representation of what the artist’s eye sees and the lens captures.
Baran's photographs are produced as chromogenic prints or archival pigment prints, and as artist proofs or in editions of 10. His work is in private collections across the United States.
Artistic Expressions of the Coachella Valley
UCR Palm Desert Center,
Palm Desert, CA
Group Show: Summer of Resilience
Ted Casablanca Gallery,
Palm Springs, CA
Solo Show: Urban Landscape and Street Art
Chestnut Mountain Resort Lobby Gallery, Galena, IL
Solo Show: Recent Work by James Baran
Grace Arts Council, Galena, IL
While at university studying music and English literature, James took courses in Photography as Art under the direction of Robert Stefl, and learned to develop film and make prints in the darkroom. At this time Baran switched to a Nikon 35-mm SLR. In those early years James concentrated on street scenes, double exposure, and portrait photography.
After an award-winning career in magazine publishing (Association Media & Publishing awards for best cover photography) in which he supervised design and production areas, James returned to work in photography, switching from film to digital.
The primary areas of Baran’s pursuit include urban landscape, portrait, and studio-shot object or flower studies. He continues to seek visually interesting compositions in urban landscape, and is fascinated by the layering of reflections in storefront windows (the Reflections series highlights this). Baran is currently seeking new commissions for portrait work.