MARK WAGNER: Collective S1-024

Johnny Dowmbrowski: Collective S1-021


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Image caption appears here

Harry Houdini - "Magical Genius"

The magic and mystery still hang in the air, much like the man himself. The illusion, the technique, the mastery behind the curtain - all of these elements remain, pieces of the smokescreen puzzle left behind by one of the greatest magicians the world has ever known.

Snapshots offer what feel like stolen glimpses into personal moments of a man who spent so much time unraveling behind a curtain, buried underground and submerged under water. These unique glass negatives offer images that almost humanize him, capturing him in day to day situations, walking amongst a world he seemed to not wholly belong to. Houdini belonged to a world beyond the veil, operating on his own terms; his own plain. Although he vehemently fought to disprove the claims and practices of spiritualists and mediums, he was himself channeling something higher, tapping into his ultimate potential, engaging his mind, body and spirit to achieve feats to which no man or woman could lay claim. His was a life of ascendency, rising above the norms to create something completely unique and personal in accordance to his inherent skills and abilities. Through complete, unwavering alignment with himself, Houdini became a living legend in his own time.

From slide to slide, his expression remains the same - a furrowed brow. His thoughts not entirely centered in the moment, but fixed on a distant point. On something just outside the periphery. His next journey into the impossible; the upcoming challenge, his mind working, formulating the route from entrapment to escape. All with one goal in mind - freedom. Whether from a straitjacket or a chain and padlock, Houdini was constantly constructing and deconstructing methods of his own capture and release. 

Release from the norm. Freedom from the shackles of perception. Houdini became a figure of innovation and perseverance in the face of adversity. In the world of magic, the “Handcuff King” was heralded a hero. As President of the Society of American Magicians, Houdini recruited and grew the group, quickly transforming it into a unified movement, one that still lives and thrives today. One of his greatest motivations behind unifying isolated magicians was to grow a support network to uphold the integrity of the profession while simultaneously weeding out the impostors who sought to threaten it. 

In doing so, Houdini gave credence to himself, to the medium of artistic creation that he dedicated his life to crafting, and to his fellow craftsman. 

Now, we’re utilizing the tools of our craft to breathe new life into the images on the glass. We’re channeling some modern day digital magic to facilitate a seamless transition from the original negatives into original fine art prints, giving this icon of illusion center stage, once again.