Interview with Randolph Pfaff

1/Your artwork in the first print issue apt is comprised of old photographs and new and your piece online is called A Reverse Chronology. Does time play a factor in how you render your work or is it just a theme for this set?

Time, or at least the idea of time, tends to be present in most of my work. We spend so much energy trying to understand or ignore or defeat time, and I like to push that idea to the forefront in my work. By playing with a sense of both time and scale in the pieces that appeared in apt, I hoped for the work to come across as covertly confrontational, challenging the viewer to discern what has happened in the picture and what that means in relation to our various time-based obsessions (youth, aging, repetition and appropriation of styles, etc.).

2/The photograph we used for the cover image captures the shadowy underbelly of a carnival ride: a dramatic moment within a lighthearted setting. Is that your intentional way of showing that seriousness exists inside of levity or are those darker moments a more accurate representation of the scene?

I tend to think of carnivals as creating an atmosphere that’s strange and otherworldly and larger than life, and I think that photo ended up capturing a bit of all of that. The idea that this huge, swinging, mechanized, pseudo-Viking ship might block out the sun from the view of someone on the ground reinforced the mystique of the carnival for me. In the end, it captured what I felt as much as what I saw.

3/Since digital manipulation is required for some of your work, can you tell us how you move from germination to realization?

It starts with an idea that I’m positive I can express in a more cogent way visually than in words. From there, I try to match up images and look for ways to put them together so that the combination communicates the idea and creates a visually compelling piece.

4/Sum up your work in apt in five words: go!

Whereof what’s past is prologue…

Randolph Pfaff’s visual art can be seen on the cover and within the pages of the first print issue of apt, which can be purchased here.

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