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He experiments in a darkroom. She composes on a computer screen. Together, husband-and-wife artists Jerry Uelsmann and Maggie Taylor broke free of traditional notions of photography to create haunting, layered dreamscapes that challenge the medium's possibilities. Step inside their Florida compound to see their complementary work and contrasting processes—and find out how they overcame the early skepticism of their art-world peers to become luminaries in their field.
(music playing) Jerry Uelsmann: The evocative powers of art is very important, how it evokes a feeling or response. You hope that somehow, because you're being authentic and sharing depth as best you can, this kind of imagery that you're creating, that other people will sense that and find a way of relating.
(music playing) Maggie Taylor: For me, art is something that is just part of my everyday life, so I can't imagine living without it. People come up with their own stories and their own ways of relating to the artwork. It kind of gives you a little bit of a window into other people's lives in some way and helps you reflect on your own life. (music playing) Ted Orland: Jerry created a universe of his own.
He makes work that talks back to him and then he listens to what it says. (music playing) Phillip Prodger: You could say that Jerry was ahead of his time, that he anticipated Photoshop before Photoshop came on the scene. Because he was interested in the psychological aspects of the photograph and the expressive possibilities of the medium, the work has a resonance that transcends its time. (music playing) Evon Streetman: Neither of them are dealing with photographic imagery as fact.
I think that that's one of the real interesting things in Maggie's work. The intelligence is what totally separates it from a majority of digital work. (music playing) Russell Brown: Like a light beam coming down out of the sky, in one of Jerry's images, revealing light on the water. The colors of Maggie's work coming out and taking you into her world.
I think they're both the most amazing modern-day surreal storytellers that I know. (music playing)
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