Meet Big Color Artist: Wess A. Haubrich (“Gem City Noir”)

 “History Runs Red: Rural Noir From Hancock County, IL” 48”x36” , Photography
“History Runs Red: Rural Noir From Hancock County, IL” 48”x36” , Photography

My name is Wess Haubrich, I am 28 years old and a self trained photographer from Western IL (Quincy). I have developed my process through trial and error, and what I call the innate “search for angle” both emotional (psychologic), and purely aesthetic. I will be starting the BFA program at Quincy University in August with the highest art scholarship possible (the Fr. Tom F. Browne, OFM award) based on my work. I have also shown twice around Chicago, about 7 times in and around St. Louis, and will be showing another rural piece in Greensboro, GA this July. I am also being interviewed for a 14 page spread in the 7th Edition of the European LandEScape Art Review.

Photography for me has been a great catharsis for my sometimes debilitating clinical depression and anxiety. I believe art saves lives in that capacity. That being said, my aesthetic is very VERY influenced by film noir (especially Orson Welles and David Lynch) and southern gothic (specifically William Faulkner). This confluence can particularly be seen in my “rural noir” series of which “history runs red” is a piece. My other two major series are “urban noir” and “memento mori” (primarily Victorian burial statuary). We think cities, monochrome, and the urban when we think of “film noir” but there is so much room for painting the psychological palette too which transcends yet is very influenced by environment. That being said, my methods of monochrome and selective coloring I think can really hit home. Simplicity, and bringing out one’s intended subject at one’s intended angle is key to great photography.

In terms of my gear, I use a simple Nikon D3200 with only the out of the box wide angle and telephoto lenses for my digital shots. I like to limit the lenses I use not for cost reasons, but because doing so effectively forces the photographer to think more concisely about composition and to get physically closer to the subject. When I shoot film, (depending upon the type) I shoot everything from a Diana F+ 120 to a (still functioning) Voigtlander Bessa to a Canon Rebel that I bought for $15.00 on Ebay.

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