by Deborah Kanfer
I am drawn to the unknown, and I have found a way to explore this through the magic of analogue photography. The exploratory nature of the medium is infinite, and my work relies heavily on the element of chance. It’s an all-consuming experience that takes me on a mental journey. It’s when I feel grounded and most at peace.
My largest body of work is housed under the theme of Momento Mori, which means ‘Remember you are mortal’. Here, a curious kind of nostalgia is restored through the re-workings and meticulous experimentation of old family photographs juxtaposed with new photographed subjects and various ephemera; marriage licenses, I.D. books, hand written letters, newspaper clippings, maps, transit ticket stubs etc. These subjects allow me to embark on a search through a history of mine that is unknown to my physical being.
Merging the latter and creating layers with subjects I have photographed, a visual story begins to unfold. I have taken this method of creation a step further and have applied it to creating pieces, like this, for others; re-creating and restoring lost moments and cherished memories through art. I love challenging the conventions of traditional photo and memory archiving and transforming them into personalized photographic artworks. I am fascinated by history of any kind and learning about the personal history of others enriches my work with many layers of old and new. A deep emotional connection between the individual and the artwork develops and nostalgia is restored.
Another theme I am currently expanding on is Cityscapes and Living Spaces. Travel plays a vital role in my life. It’s another passion that feeds my passion for photography and art. Having the opportunity to aimlessly wonder the streets of an unknown city and capturing various places and spaces is something else I just can’t get enough of. I like to describe this body of work as my visual travel autobiography; I am currently working on Toronto specific works as Toronto is where I am currently living and working.
Each and every photographic work is created through traditional analogue photographic technical practices. The process is an experiential art form in itself.
Originally from South Africa, Deborah Kanfer lives and works in Toronto as a photographic artist. Deborah is currently pursuing her venture in creating personalized photographic fine art works by conceptualizing and restoring nostalgia through art. She also creates a line of jewellery called Keepsake. Each Keepsake item displays a miniature photographic artwork, and all directly correspond to her large scale pieces. Through her work, Deborah aims to capture the mystery of the unknown and to draw the viewer closer. Here, she displays a seamless tie and connection between old and new. To keep abreast of Deborah’s work and showings, follow her on twitter: @deborahkanfer Instagram: @deborahkanfer, Facebook: http://on.fb.me/1s1w2Mp or simply visit her website: deborahkanfer.com.