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"curiouser" by Ken and Mary Marzorati

Urban photography taken in and around Detroit, MI. A collection of images from Ken & Mary Marzorati's "curiouser" photo series and 2010 exhibition.


"faeries" by Ken Marzorati

This isn't your garden-variety photographic series. And..., these aren't your garden-variety faeries. Trust me on this.

Once upon a time...

... I was sketching in my office one afternoon, burning some time during one of many rainy days the spring of 2006, when my 6yr-old peeked over my shoulder and said, "Daddy, she looks like a faerie", pointing to the model rendering at hand. Indeed she was right, very much a faerie-likeness appeared that very moment. Sprung from this epiphany... the series itself, at first more recreation than art, but as time went on it took on a life quite of its own.

At the onset I presumed I would need my 4x5 Gostenhauser large-format camera with magnesium-sulfide glass plates for this type of imagery. I also presumed I would need one hell of a lot of sulfur. Don't ask. I was correct on both accounts.

The plate making process/alchemy was almost as difficult in formulating as it was locating the faeries themselves. I started with heavy 4x5 glass, a magnesium-sulfide and silver photo-sensitive powder, and in a mercury/sulfur bath electroplated the lot with a 22,000volt DC transformer. My neighbors and the kind folks from DTE were not pleased during the process. And it took weeks to get the sulfur smell out of my garage. My 4x5 Gostenhauser large-format camera required modification as well. I had to remove the cloth bellows and replace them with ones made from woven sugarcane, making the camera itself unusually bulky and difficult to manage.

I hadn't realized that my contact glass (half the glass equation, the other being the negative glass itself) had become contaminated until well after I had completed photographing the lot; a consistency obvious in most all of the prints in this series. Since I could no more easily repair the now contaminated negatives than juggle razorblades, I chose to continue with the print making process, especially since the infected areas had as much an organic appearance as the subjects themselves.

Whether you believe any of this or not is entirely up to you. My story could possibly be just that... a story, regardless of the means by which it was told; in words, illustrations, or in this case, photographs. I can assure you, however, that all the images in this series were indeed created from photographs "I" took, and not once was any solely computer-generated, sketched or fabricated in any way.

So..., do you believe?

~ Ken Marzorati 2006


"wallpaper" by Ken Marzorati

Fine-art nude photography incorporating wallpaper photos taken at the Mansfield Reformatory (Mansfield OH) as well as organic textures captured in urban environments.