I am attracted to corners as places of mystery. Often they are empty and lonely, projecting a negative energy that seems to drive objects and people away. Other times they attract the forgotten, the things no one cares about. Corners go unnoticed and unvisited.
A corner is made up of three lines converging to a vanishing point. Perhaps that point silently draws things into it (including ourselves) until they vanish completely. People have evolved to interpret this pattern of converging lines as depth, which the two-dimensional photographic print then makes ambiguous. Is the corner receding—pulling us in—or projecting toward us—threatening to attack? The presence of pattern recognition in humans has lent us both survival skills and aesthetics, and vanishing points touch something at our core.
Raised in the Midwest and now living in Massachusetts, Andy Schirmer is a photographer, musician, and graphic artist using fine art to explore how the evolution of pattern recognition in humans has produced both survival skills and aesthetics.
With a musical mother and an architect father, Schirmer was exposed early on to a variety of art forms—visual, literary, and aural. His sense of design was shaped by visits to the construction sites of his father’s buildings as well as to art museums. As a teenager, he met and appeared in a photograph by Julius Shulman, whose architectural photography became an inspiration for Schirmer’s own work. Other influential artists include André Kertész, Charles Sheeler, and Paul Strand.
Schirmer has studied digital printing, design, and composition at the New England School of Photography and the Griffin Museum of Photography. Recent projects include studies of urban life from the perspective of the city and how human artifacts reflect the emotions of their creators.
Schirmer’s photographs have been exhibited at a Creative Haverhill installation in Haverhill, Massachusetts—an Adams Art project funded by the Massachusetts Cultural Council—and at shows in Clinton, New York and Andover, Massachusetts, and can be found in private collections.
Contact Andy Schirmer