* All images used with permission. Please do not distribute without first contacting the artist.
James Autery has a background in photojournalism, following after the Magnum Photos tradition. He’s been focusing on art exhibits, editorial, and video portraits, which he calls motion portraits. Motion portraits are manipulated videos that are meant to feel like photographs with a continuous, looping motion.
James explains his work by saying, “The beauty and significance of this world cannot be captured with a camera. Take for example a sunset. Even the most spectacular display of colors and the wildest array of cloud formation in a photograph is, well, a sunset photo. In person, where you taste the moisture, you smell the earth, the colors burn in your eyes even when you close them–you are experiencing in the first person, and experience is the most wonderful gift that we possess. A photograph does no justice to that experience. Instead, it is a symbol of it. If something interesting is done with the composition or exposure, the symbol is used and new beauty is created. Photography has been around for only 200 years. Painting has been around since we were in caves. There’s a lot to be done. Even though the “motion portraits” series is technically video, I’m approaching them as if they were still images–a moment in time forever framed in a static state of being. People often feel frozen in time in photographs, as if that moment, person, thought will continue on forever in that one state. This is the feeling that I’m trying to create.”
His work has been shown at the MPLS Photo Center, Center for Contemporary Arts Santa Fe, Hudson Opera House, Entityy Magazine, Travel & Leisure Magazine, and fototazo photography + micro grants and he was a finalist in the Gordon Parks International Photo Competition.
His subjects have included children with autism, train-hoppers, communities in the wake of Superstorm Sandy, a machinist in the Mojave Desert, and a Korean family living in Missouri.
His work is focused on the universal inner strength of people, and in the still moments of fleeting life experiences that seem to branch out into their own unending existences.