March 7 – April 4, 2019
Reception Sunday, March 10, 2019 4-6 PM
Chervinsky Award Presentation and brief talk March 10, 2019 6-6:15 PM
Myths Artist Statement
Photographing my daughter’s first pregnancy and contemplating her beauty and the fullness of her potential, I had an epiphany. In this illuminating awareness, I imagine her standing on a matrilineal continuum with a long line of women from her past, standing as an icon of her unfolding future. It was like observing a timeline of human history. I suddenly had an intuitive understanding of women perpetuating humanity. My own part in this, albeit in a supporting role, of son, husband, father, and grandfather became clearer. This was the revelation that stimulated my exploration of the feminine and these women as classic ideals for the Myths series.
Contemplating the form of my daughter’s body and her procreative potential encouraged research into the powerful archetypes of womanhood. Informative readings in anthropology, mythology, and religion helped me transform personal intuition into a more concrete understanding.
Joseph Campbell’s brilliant and exhaustive study of archetypes gives credence to our innate knowledge that seems to well up from deep inside, like one’s awe of nature and the mysterious truth embodied in dreams.
The title “Myths” speaks to the allegorical nature of the stories depicted. The series seeks an innate understanding of my original epiphany. The female figure and the natural world provide the subject matter and the resulting compositions illuminate these stories of memory, mystery, transformation, desire, and reverence.
My process utilizes the camera and digital manipulation to visualize musings of the feminine archetype. Files, newly captured or harvested from the archive, are the raw material. The digital medium allows me extensive control over the visual product and the gratification of creating a compelling visual statement. The evidence of what I know and what I simply feel to be true is woven into the photographs. – RM 2019
Ralph Mercer, a New England native, is an alumnus of Rhode Island School of Design where he obtained a BFA in photography and studied with Harry Callahan and Bert Beaver. He received his MFA in visual design from the University of Massachusetts, where he studied with Dietmar Winkler and Elaine Fisher, and taught photography as a graduate teaching assistant.
With a studio in Norwood, MA, he specializes in digital photography and photo-collage, creating fine art photography with an emphasis on the figurative and the landscape. His images are licensed worldwide and published in a range of digital and printed media. In addition to being a full-time artist, he is a photographic illustrator and carries out portrait commissions and other photographic projects.
His photographs depict the human figure, nature, and the everyday environment, all interpreted with his sense of visual poetry, whether they be figure studies or abstractions of the visible world.
Sleeping in the Forest
A Poem by Mary Oliver
I thought the earth remembered me,
she took me back so tenderly,
arranging her dark skirts, her pockets
full of lichens and seeds.
I slept as never before, a stone on the river bed,
nothing between me and the white fire of the stars
but my thoughts, and they floated light as moths
among the branches of the perfect trees.
All night I heard the small kingdoms
breathing around me, the insects,
and the birds who do their work in the darkness.
All night I rose and fell, as if in water,
grappling with a luminous doom. By morning
I had vanished at least a dozen times
into something better.
BFA Photography, Education, Rhode Island School of Design
MFA Visual Design, University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth
Rangefinder Magazine Fine Art Photography Awards, 2018
Weston Online Photography Competition, First Place, Carmel, CA, 2017
Black and White Spider Awards, 2 Honorable Mentions, 2017
Critical Mass, Semi-finalist, 2016
Black and White Spider Awards, nominee, 2015
Trierenberg Super Circuit, Gold Medal, Linz, Austria, 2015
One Eyeland, 4 Silver awards, Chennai, India, 2015
Black and White Spider Awards, nominee, 2014
Master’s Cup, 4th annual, 2013
Natural Nude, Southeast Center for Photgraphy, 2019, 2 images shown
The Portfolios, LightBox Photographic Gallery, Astoria, OR, 2018, 4 photographs from the Dialectics series shown
Summer Show, Duncan Miller Gallery, Santa Monica, CA 2018
Algorithms, 8 Photographs shown in Group show, Scarlet Seven Gallery, Troy, NY 2018
Staged, PH21 Gallery, Budapest, Hungary, 2018
The Weston Collective online Exhibition, 2017, First Place, Figure Study
The Photographic Nude, LightBox Photographic Gallery, Astoria, OR, 2017
Providence Center for Photographic Art, 4th Open Call Exhibition, 2017
The Curated Fridge, Kayafas Gallery, 2017
10 Spot,10 photographs in group show, Sohn Fine Art Gallery, Lenox, MA, 2017
The Photographic Nude, LightBox Photographic Gallery, Astoria, OR, 2017
The Curated Fridge, Somerville, MA, 2016
The Eye of Photography, L’oeil de la Photographie, Online Portfolio,
Black and White, PhotoPlace Gallery, Middlebury, VT 2016
Don’t Take Pictures, Online Daily Photograph, 2016
Griffin Museum’s 22nd Juried Show, Griffin Museum of Photography, Winchester, MA, 2016
Your Daily Photograph, Online gallery of photographs for sale, Duncan Miller Gallery, 2016
37 Photographers/One Model, Griffin Museum of Photography, Winchester, MA, 2016
The Photographic Nude, LightBox Photographic Gallery, Astoria, OR, 2016
The Nude in the Landscape, L.A. Photo Curator 2016
Alternative Cameras, PhotoPlace Gallery, Middlebury, VT 2016
Body and Soul, Solo Show, Galatea Fine Art, Boston, MA, 2015
Beyond The Book, Boston Public Library, Boston, MA, 2016
Your Daily Photograph, Online gallery of photographs for sale, Duncan Miller Gallery, 2015
Griffin Museum’s 21st Juried Show, Griffin Museum of Photography, Winchester, MA, 2015
Black and White, PhotoPlace Gallery, Middlebury, VT 2015
Think Small, Panopticon Photographic Gallery, Boston, MA 2015
21st Annual Juried Exhibition, Zullo Gallery, Medfield, MA, 2015
FPAC Open Studios Group Show, Boston, MA, 2015
I Love Your Space, 555 Gallery, Boston, MA, 2015
Birds and Bees, Nave Gallery, Somerville, MA, 2015
Early Works Online, Photographic Resource Center, Boston, MA, 2014
Your Work Here 2.0, PRC, Boston, MA, 2014
Atlantic Wharf Gallery, Boston, MA, 2014
Primavera,The Marino Center, One Person Show, Wellesley, MA, 2013
ASMP Big Picture Show
Atlantic Monthly Gallery, solo show
Brockton Arts Center
Fort Point Artist’s Community Gallery, two person show
Hartford Civic and Arts Festival
Houston Art Director’s Show, Gold Award
Maine Photographic Workshop
MassachusettsTransportation Building, Permanent Installation
Stonehill College Gallery
The Gallery, UMASS Dartmouth
Woods-Gerry Gallery, R.I.S.D.
FPAC Gallery, Boston
Massasoit Community College
Bristol Community College
Brockton High School
Lens Magazine, Issue #43, “Nude”, April 2018, 14 images from the Dialectics Series published
Rangefinder Magazine, January, 2018, 7 images from the Dialectics Series published
Blur Magazine, “The Photographic Nude”, Spring, 2016
Book Cover, “Photoshop Unmasked”, by Nigel French
Book Cover, “A Stranger in the Mirror”, Sidney Sheldon (Italian Edition)
Oprah Magazine, Atlantic Monthly Magazine, Essence Magazine, Boston Magazine, Harvard Business Review, INC magazine, MacWorld, Parade Magazine, Better Homes and Gardens Magazine, PC Computing Magazine, Technology Review Magazine
Selected Corporate Clients:
Agilent Technologies, AT&T, Bank of America, Chase Bank, CitiBank, Compaq Computer, Cross Point Paper, EMC2, Fidelity Investments, Hewlett Packard, Houghton Mifflin, IBM, MCI, Morgan Stanley Dean Witter, Oppenheimer Funds, Polaroid, Price Waterhouse, RR Donnelley, Smith Barney, Standard and Poors, Unisys, UPS, Vanguard Funds, and Wausau Paper.
Getty Images, stock