Photographer and sculptor Wayne Martin Belger, a native of Pasadena, California, must be the nicest guy who has ever made a functioning camera out of the skull of a Tibetan monk. That camera – itself a work of art called “Yama” (see it here) – is one of several show-stoppingly confrontational, yet undeniably beautiful, works of art in his exhibit “Borderlands: Journeys From Destruction to Creation,” which opens Friday, March 30 at artspace in downtown Shreveport. The exhibit is simultaneously an alternative-process photography show (Belger fabricates pinhole cameras using materials like Aluminum, Titanium, sand, blood and bones) and a sculpture show featuring the handmade cameras that he uses. The exhibit will be on display through Saturday, May 12. In addition to attending the opening reception at 6 p.m. on Friday, March 30, Belger will host a gallery talk at 10 a.m. on Saturday, March 31.
In light of the fact that many people carry cameras in their pockets and purses these days – mass-produced cameras that can make an image look grungy, distorted, or hand-processed at the tap of a button – someone who literally begins the process of taking a photograph by building the camera is a rarity. But Belger doesn’t resent digital photography. In fact, he credits the ubiquity of digital cameras with helping elevate analog photography’s status as a fine art.
“Digital has pushed analog into the realm of fine art at Mach-2 speeds,” Belger said. “I can kind of thank digital photography for that.”
Here are a few other incredible facts about Wayne Martin Belger:
-His grandfather invented the jet engine (“Chuck Yeager used to fly jets for my grandfather.”)
-He is a former professional hockey mascot (he was “Wildwing,” the mascot of the Anaheim Ducks!)
-His dad, another inventor, invented the laminating machine
Belger’s show is just as fascinating and unbelievable as the man himself. Check out his website.
Artspace, 710 Texas Street, is located 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday. Admission to the opening reception for “Borderlands” is $10. The exhibit does contain some nudes.