Visual Artist | United States
In his spanning 40-year career as a master black-and-white printer, Chuck Kelton’s work has been featured in numerous exhibitions and publications and is in the collections of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston; Bibliothéque nationale de France; Norton Museum of Art, West Palm Beach, Florida; International Center of Photography, New York; and New York Public Library. The artist lives and works in Jersey City, NJ.
Kelton makes chemograms and photograms inside the darkroom; transforming light, chemistry and paper into rich abstract landscapes. Both chemograms and photograms are made without the use of cameras or negatives, rendering each print entirely unique.
He began photographing when he was 14. By 1983 he was printing Larry Clark’s portfolio. He started Kelton Labs in the mid-1980s, attracting big-name clients who, by word of mouth alone transformed his lab into a 25-person operation that was operating seven days a week, 20 hours a day. He has held some of the most important negatives in history (from Steven Meisel’s Madonna photographs, Ansel Adams’s “Moonrise, Hernandez, New Mexico” to Alfred Eisenstaedt’s “V-J Day in Times Square”) and has worked with some of the world’s best photographers including Mary Ellen Mark, Danny Lyon and Builder Levy.
He downsized in 2010, and now works only in black-and-white and has a staff of just two.