Artist's Statement

Carol Isaak

Like my very first inspiration, Atget, I set about the task of documenting what I discover, not tourist sites, but the subtle images that illuminate and define place.

Mindscapes, especially the exclusively black and white images recently made in India, emphasizes the graphic aspect of the environment, rather than its seductive color.

These 8" square images, each printed on a 16"square sheet, have been conceived as "gems", rather than environments. Modest. Focused.Quiet. Mysterious. The metal work, murals, ironwork stairwells all echo the natural florid environment. Pattern is everywhere, by contrast to our own absence thereof.

We contemporary Americans have lost our sense of decoration. By now, we are unconscious of the mantra,"form follows function". Although we have pared down all kinds of objects, big and small, architecture to fabric, reflecting that minimal aesthetic, even elevating "the little black dress" as the ultimate sophisticated garment in a woman's wardrobe. We have devalued and discarded decoration and often pattern. Those embellishments often impart character.

In this collection of images, Mindscapes, I have rediscovered decoration in India, celebrating and honoring it.

That is what I do.

Atget sits on my shoulder urging me to document whatever it is that peaks my interest, because it very well might disappear once I have walked around the corner.