In February of 2011, I purchased a work from Camden Place for my personal collection. The piece is titled, “Sam knows how to party.” The subject is Sam Scharf. Both the Sam and Camden are artists in Washington, DC area. I’ve worked with them in a number of area art events. I first saw Camden’s work in our Sudden Space show, a pop-up gallery event that took place in Arlington, VA. Sam and Megan Muller curated the event, artdc.org, organized the show.
At Sudden Space, I was immediately excited by Camden’s technique. He creates wood reliefs using either red oak or plywood with veneers. He coats the block of wood with black ink and then reveals the image with a chisel, as if he were going to use it for prints. That said, his blocks are never used for prints. His works are one of kind with depth and intensity.
His marks are extremely shallow and delicate. They are created with a very careful and visible measure of intent. The process is a wonderful transformation of the people and situations that he observes. To me, his work is more than the moment captured, but the transformation of emotion of the subject.
I selected this piece out of his collection with appreciation for it’s particular use of contrast with great control of the shadows. The way the marks worked with this particular slab of oak, manipulating the grain, and revealing the image with respect for the subject, Sam. The shadow’s over his face captures his energy. This will be an important piece for it’s quality as a work of art which stands on it’s own, and the subject who’s sure to gain fame and acclaim in the art scene at-large.
With out going further, I say view this work, and draw your own conclusions. But, make the decision to buy Camden Place’s work now, while you still can.