Dan Estabrook

Estabrook

The first photographs, just baby steps from drawing, exist for me in an ideal transitional state between the rational world of the machine and the more human world of the hand. The very physical materials of the early processes – at first, just paper, silver, and salt – have always seemed to me like invitations to transform my own photographs, to draw or paint or cut, acting willfully on my work in an attempt to cross some divide between the past and the present, or between the real and the absurd. Recently I have been using watercolor-based photographic emulsions, like the Gum Bichromate process, to try to discover some of the freedom of painting in the surface of my photographs and to blur this line even more.


Early photographers sought to correct by hand the technical limitations of their new art, yet over time it is their hand-work that can seem to tell the real story: a rose-tinted cheek could now be brighter than the faded face it once enlivened. In combining the hand-made image with the magic of the machine, my own "corrections" and re-imaginings can begin to tell a tale of their own – a hand holds an invisible sculpture, a braid turns to rope, a painted sea doesn't quite hide what it should.


Using 19th-century techniques and celebrating their flaws and failures, I makeseemingly anonymous photographs in order to re-imagine a more personal and dream-like history of photography, seen from a 21st-century perspective. With these processes, I can create my own “found photos” – highly personal objects in which to hide my own secrets and stories. I am not interested in revisiting the past; instead I wish to make contemporary work inspired by the ever-growing gap

Dan Estabrook was born and raised in Boston, where he studied art at city schools and the Museum of Fine Arts. He discovered photography in his teens through the underground magazines of the punk-rock and skateboarding cultures of the 1980′s. As an undergraduate at Harvard he began studying alternative photographic processes with Christopher James. In 1993, after receiving an MFA from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, Dan continued working and teaching in Illinois, Boston, and Florida, eventually settling in Brooklyn, New York.

For more than fifteen years, Estabrook has worked with historical photographic techniques to explore intimate issues about love, sex and death. In his two series, Night & Day and Nine Symptoms, he continues his use of antiquated processes – the calotype paper negative and salt print positive – turning the camera on his own body as he examines his wants, desires and fears.

In Night & Day, Estabrook presents images which obscure the division between the cognizant and dream states, as figures emerge and disappear into fading backgrounds, body parts levitate and dreams sprout visibly from a woman's pursed lips. In Estabrook's sleep state, one loses control, exposing secrets and flaws only realized upon waking.

In Nine Symptoms, Estabrook tackles the emotions he has experienced falling in love. With pieces titled "Shortness of Breath," "Heart Rate Increase," "Fever" and "Loss of Appetite," Estabrook evokes old medical photographs to directly confront the passion, obsession, apprehension and excitement brought on by love, as well as its loss. By employing the techniques and metaphors used by nineteenth-century practitioners, Estabrook is able to comment on the timelessness of his concerns and the enduring fascination with love, sex and death.

"Just one hundred years ago, science could still claim palmistry, phrenology, and physiognomy among its disciplines, and even today we tend to believe that written on the body are the keys to decipher the secret language of the everyday. There is science, too, in photography -- mixing salt and silver to represent the otherwise unseen details of the natural world. By processes physical and chemical, it is even possible to distill one's breath, capture time, and give a material life to the immaterial. It is this alchemy that moves me. Using and emulating nineteenth-century printing techniques, and making visible the very physical materials of which photographs are made, I attempt to have seemingly anonymous photographs become highly personal objects. In these images a single repeated shape, a formation of flowers, or the patterns of dust and decay are almost legible texts, inscribed on the skin of paper, tin, and glass"

-- Dan Estabrook, 1998

All images from Nine Symptoms are available as 14 x 11" salt prints with ink made in editions of 5 for $3200. Price includes frame.

Images from Night & Day range from 4 x 5" to 16 x 20". All pieces are one of a kind pencil on waxed calotype negatives & salt prints. Pieces range from $1200 to $6500. Prices include frame.

All other images vary between being unique pieces and editions of 3, and range in size from 5 x 7" to 15 x 17". Pieces vary from contemporary ambrotypes and tintypes with oil paint, to calotypes with graphite and salt prints with watercolor. Pieces range in price from $1500 to $6500.

Please call: (312) 266-2350 for prices of specific pieces.
Prices are print only unless otherwise indicated.

Dan Estabrook
A Small Gesture, 2001
Dan Estabrook
A Village of Salt, 2010
Dan Estabrook
A Void, 2009
Dan Estabrook
Anchor, 2010
Dan Estabrook
Antimony, 2016
Dan Estabrook
Artificial Arm, 2006
Dan Estabrook
At Sea, 2007
Dan Estabrook
Beauty Mask, 2016
Dan Estabrook
Black Hands, 2002

sold

Dan Estabrook
Black Veil, 2002
Dan Estabrook
Black Waves, 2009
Dan Estabrook
Bleed, 2007
Dan Estabrook
Blindness, 2005

sold

Dan Estabrook
Bloom, 1999

sold

Dan Estabrook
Bloom (Dirty), 1998
Dan Estabrook
Bound Man, 2002
Dan Estabrook
Braid , 2002
Dan Estabrook
Breath, 2004
Dan Estabrook
Broken Fingers, 2004
Dan Estabrook
Bust, 2007
Dan Estabrook
Chills, 2004
Dan Estabrook
Comfort, 2003

sold

Dan Estabrook
Competing Conditions, 1999

sold

Dan Estabrook
Conjurer's Hand, 2002
Dan Estabrook
Crying, 2002
Dan Estabrook
Delirium, 2004
Dan Estabrook
Dermoid Self-Portrait, 1999
Dan Estabrook
Diagram, 2008
Dan Estabrook
Discarded Vices, no. 1, 2016
Dan Estabrook
Double Bed, 2004
Dan Estabrook
Double Self-Portrait, 2000
Dan Estabrook
Double Still Life, 1997

sold

Dan Estabrook
Euphoria, 2004
Dan Estabrook
Fever, 2004
Dan Estabrook
Figure Study, 2004

sold

Dan Estabrook
Five Fingers, 2010
Dan Estabrook
Forever and Never, 2003

sold

Dan Estabrook
Ghosts & Models (Ghost no.1), 2002
Dan Estabrook
Ghosts & Models (Ghost no.2), 2002
Dan Estabrook
Ghosts & Models (Model F.L.), 2002
Dan Estabrook
Ghosts & Models (Model L.H.), 2002
Dan Estabrook
Ghosts and Models (Ghost no.3), 2002
Dan Estabrook
Girl with Tattoos, 2010
Dan Estabrook
Heart Rate Increase, 2004
Dan Estabrook
Heaven, 2003
Dan Estabrook
Knot, 2004
Dan Estabrook
Last Splash, 2016

sold

Dan Estabrook
Little Comfrot, 2003
Dan Estabrook
Little Devils, no. 2, 2001
Dan Estabrook
Little Devils, no. 4, 2001
Dan Estabrook
Little Devils, no. 8, 2002
Dan Estabrook
Little Fist, 2000
Dan Estabrook
Little Sea, 2009
Dan Estabrook
Little Suit, 2001
Dan Estabrook
Loss of Appetite, 2004
Dan Estabrook
Message in a Bottle, 2006
Dan Estabrook
Night and Day 1, 2005
Dan Estabrook
Night and Day 2, 2005
Dan Estabrook
Noose, Drawn, 2001
Dan Estabrook
Out To Sea, 2016
Dan Estabrook
Palette, 2010
Dan Estabrook
Poisonous Liquids, no. 2, 2002

sold

Dan Estabrook
Rosette, 2009
Dan Estabrook
Saltwater, 2007

sold out

Dan Estabrook
Self-Portrait, 2002
Dan Estabrook
Self-Portrait with Barnacles, 2010
Dan Estabrook
Self-Portriat with Blindfold, 2004

sold

Dan Estabrook
Seven Arms, 2010
Dan Estabrook
Shortness of Breath, 2004
Dan Estabrook
Six Feet, 2010
Dan Estabrook
Sleep, 2005
Dan Estabrook
Sleep [Pillow], 2003
Dan Estabrook
Sleeplessness, 2004
Dan Estabrook
Starry Night, 2016
Dan Estabrook
Statuette, second version, 2000

sold

Dan Estabrook
Still Life, 2005
Dan Estabrook
Studio of a Young Man, 2016

sold

Dan Estabrook
Study for The Moon, 2015
Dan Estabrook
Study for “The Mourners”, 2016
Dan Estabrook
Survival Kit, 2010
Dan Estabrook
The Big Hand, 2006
Dan Estabrook
The Clown, 2012
Dan Estabrook
The Large Studio, 2002
Dan Estabrook
The Small Studio, 2002

sold

Dan Estabrook
The Source, 2016

sold

Dan Estabrook
Twin Flowers, 1997

sold

Dan Estabrook
Two Hands, 2005

sold

Dan Estabrook
Untitled, 2001
Dan Estabrook
Untitled (D.B.D.), 2006
Dan Estabrook
Vanity, no. 2, 2002

sold

Dan Estabrook
Weakness, 2004
Dan Estabrook
White Flag, 2006
Dan Estabrook
Wreath, 2016
Dan Estabrook
XO, 2006
Dan Estabrook
Your Braid, 2006
Dan Estabrook
Your Hair Still Grows, 1998

sold

Dan Estabrook
Your Poison, 2004