Religions have existed for as long as humans have organized into communities. They have served as guides to moral living, binders to create social structures, tools to control people, and to explain how the world functions, among a myriad of other uses. For millennia, art has been created to illustrate and honor these religions.
The New Religion series of polylith photographs was created over a 12-year period to depict a fictitious religion. This religion may bear a resemblance to many of the religions of the past: having offerings, misogyny, themes of control or beliefs in higher beings. The choice of using the polylith process for making the photographs was not haphazard, but was an attempt to follow the Photo-Secessionists, who at the turn of the 19th to 20th centuries made use of manipulation in producing their photographs. This was to imbue them with meaning beyond the literal image and have them seem more painterly.
These photographs were made with the support of the Polaroid Corporation as part of an Artist Support Grant.
About Eric Blau
Son of a professional photographer, Eric Blau has been photographing since childhood. His photographs have been exhibited and collected in museums and galleries in North America, Europe and Asia. Highlights of his career include the publication of “Common Heroes” (1989), consisting of interviews and photographs of terminally ill people. It was chosen by New American Writing and the USIA to be included in the catalog, “Best of the U.S. Small Presses.”
In 1993, “Stories of Adoption” was published, centering of the experiences of birthparents, adoptive parents and adoptees, once a reunion had occurred between adoptees and their birthparents. From 1986 until the Polaroid Corporation went bankrupt in 2012, Blau was awarded an Artist Support Grant, which was renewed annually. His photographs are included in several Polaroid monographs, and in the Polaroid 50th Anniversary Traveling Exhibition, which was seen in many of the world’s museums from 1996-2002. For a number of years, he was a workshop assistant at the Friends of Photography Workshops. His body of work includes street photography, polylith prints (like those in this exhibition) and photodocumentary projects.