John Chiara creates one-of-a-kind photographs shot directly onto color photographic paper using a variety of hand-built cameras, the largest of which is a 50 x 80 inch field camera transported on the back of a flatbed trailer. The camera, which is designed much like a daguerreotype box camera, allows Chiara to shoot and perform his darkroom work while the images are recorded directly onto oversized photosensitive paper. This process, which Chiara first discovered as a student in 1999, invites anomalies in his final prints and adds to the mystery and lyricism of his pictures.
John Chiara’s works were included in the seminal 7-artist exhibition Light, Paper, Process: Reinventing Photography at the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles. His photographs have been exhibited at the Harry Ransom Center, University of Texas at Austin; Museum of Photographic Arts, San Diego; San Jose Museum of Art, San Jose; Museum Bärengasse, Zurich; de Young, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, and are in the permanent collections of the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC; Haggerty Museum of Art, Milwaukee, WI; Museum of Photographic Arts, San Diego, CA; J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles; Harry Ransom Center, University of Texas at Austin; and Los Angeles County Museum of Art.