Mary Kocol Gets the Blues

And she gets the greens, and the pinks and the umbers.

Neither full daylight nor complete darkness, the blue hour is rife with intense color and emotion. When the sun goes below the horizon and ambient light surrounds us, photographer Mary Kocol (Film & Video Fellow ’99) goes into action. We asked Mary to tell us about her work as a photographer.

When did you first start photographing the world around you? “I got my first camera when I was a kid, at age 7, from Green Stamps, a trading stamps book that my family got from the grocery store. If enough stamps were collected, you could redeem stuff with them – so I traded in the Green Stamps for a plastic camera outfitted with flash cubes and 126 drop-in cartridge film.

After earning an MFA from Rhode Island School of Design in the late 1980s, I moved to Somerville and began my career in photography. I’ve long been inspired by the old urban houses and landscape of Boston & New England area.”

What is the most unexpected response you have had to your work? “When I first started exhibiting at Gallery NAGA in 1993, some people thought the photographs were paintings – perhaps because I presented the work without mats or glazing, the traditional way to exhibit photos back then.”

What draws you to shoot twilight? “I love the color of the sky that time of day – its intensity and deep blue color – I find it visually exciting. During twilight an ordinary place can be transformed into something exquisite and extraordinary.”

What do you hope people experience when looking at your photographs? “I hope my pictures will get people to notice twilight for the exquisite daily occurrence it is, and become more aware of beauty in ordinary places.”

Mary Kocol: Twilight Garden
September 7-October 2, 2010
Reception: September 10, 6-8pm
Gallery Naga
67 Newbury Street, Boston MA 02116
617-267-9060

Image credits: All images courtesy Mary Kocol. Photographs Copyright Mary Kocol. Printed by the artist. From top to bottom: Lemon Tree Above the Pool, Los Angeles, 2007, 23”x34.25”; Blooming Cherry Tree at Twilight, Somerville, 2010, 23”hx34.25w”; Green Tree Buds Over Memorial Drive, Cambridge, 2008, 23”x34.25”

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