Our current parlor gallery artist is a photographer, published poet and Texas A&M faculty member who has been taking pictures since the 60’s. Chuck Taylor’s stylized works from his latest photo-series, “Provocations to Love,” are the product of a man who has been alive to see a great deal of technological advancement in the world of photography. As someone who has watched the ever-increasing rate of innovation continue to explode throughout his lifetime, Chuck knows better than most that “technology is a double-edged sword.”
Those of you that have seen his vividly colored photos in the parlor gallery of the SEAD gallery may be surprised to learn that Chuck was hesitant to transition to digital photography. Chuck is self-described “purist at heart,” but finally made switch on the basis of safety and practicality, as developing photos can be very expensive and requires the use of a whole host of dangerous chemicals. Digital on the other hand, not only saved Chuck a great deal of money, but allowed him the artistic freedom to reinterpret reality.
Where film photography has the limitation of only being able to capture reality as it exists, digital photography allows for manipulation of photos after the shutter has snapped. Although Chuck was initially reticent to try digital photography, he quickly fell in love with the freedom it gave him to play with colors, saturation, and contrast. Chuck edits his photos with the hope that the final product will help viewers of his work “fall in love with the beauty of the world again.”
While Chuck refers to this beauty as a universal quality, “Provocation to Love” focuses in on the beauty of downtown Bryan. From the once dilapidated Queen theater to the yet to be re-imagined Temple Frieda, Chuck takes photos he hopes will show people the potential he saw when he first explored Bryan’s streets in the early 90’s. Chuck reflects on the changes he has seen in the area in recent years – noting that many of the improvements seem to mirror the changes he would have suggested. Still, some buildings like Temple Frieda are waiting patiently to be rescued.
In many ways, “Provocations to Love” is a celebration of the potential that he saw nearly two decades ago being realized, but it is also a quiet call to continue building on what has been started. As Chuck would say – it’s time to give the ladies of downtown Bryan, like the Queen Theater and Temple Frieda, “a new dress.”