It is immediately noticeable that Jan Cook’s photographs seem like an hour of birth Grimm’s Fairytalesafter reading the artist’s statement about her work, Fugue: A dreamlike condition, we know this was exactly what she was looking for all along. They are images in their mind’s eye that are brought into physical manifestation and executed to surreal and imaginative effect. The photographs in this collection are created using a process known as Chromoscedasean painting, a challenging process that yields results that are well suited to a series like this one. Magical realism has its roots in literature, so there’s a solid investment to be found in its lush aesthetic.
Cook’s life spans an impressive and varied work and residency curriculum vitae that nurtured her love of the photographic art form. Raised in Seattle, Washington, she spent a year in southeastern Mexico as an exchange student and later earned her BFA from the University of Washington. After college, she returned to Mexico to become a staff photographer for the Cultural Institute of Tabasco. Upon returning to Seattle, Cook and two friends opened their own art gallery, creating a space for the artist community to come together and enjoy the shared experience that comes with it. While gallery life went on, she also began working in the local film industry as a still photographer, rigger and gaffer. After thirteen years in the film industry, she brought them to Dale Chihuly, where she photographed the work and installations of the famous American glass artist. In recent years, Cook has been married, raising a son and working as a fine art photographer in Portland, Oregon as part of the thriving photography community there.