What I am about,” says Robert Oelman, “is a dedication to seeing all there is to be seen.” That dedication takes him through a broad range of subjects — from contemporary cityscapes, to remote rainforests, to images that bring some of the smallest living creatures spectacularly into view. Regardless of scale, his images all share an elegant sense of composition and an expert ability to manipulate light and shadow.
Since 2004, Mr. Oelman has concentrated on macro photography of live, neotropical insects, the smallest of which measure a millimeter in length. He has developed many techniques for enhancing the quality of insect photography. Not content to be a local insect hunter, he and his assistant, Cristian Fernando Lopez, have traveled to remote rainforests in Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru in order to discover and photograph some of the most fantastic insects in the world. Many of these insects have never been photographed before, and to everyone except the most specialized entomologists they are completely unknown and even “unimaginable.” The exhibition will feature three of the most photogenically interesting groups: treehoppers, which are incredibly diverse structurally; katydids, especially amazing leaf mimics; and some mantids which are champions of camouflage. Mr. Oelman’s ambition has been to elevate insect photography into a new art form and he accomplishes this aim by crafting compositions of impeccable graphic and artistic quality.
Class of 1959