Kathleen Fonseca's fine art education has framed her photographic pursuits for more than a decade.  Spoiled in the past by easy access to a wide array of traditional art media - still never far from reach - pencil, paint and chisel had been accessed at whim and applied at will. 


Native to New Jersey, a move to Costa Rica in 1989 plunged her into a cultural and natural environment unlike any she had ever known, and called for new media in pursuit of a precise, subjective capture of the atmosphere, mores, values and reality of her adopted country.  She has since commanded a variety of photographic formats, media and technologies, both analog and digital, to interpret her environment in unique ways.  Additionally, casual pursuits in dance, architecture and gardening informed the concepts of synchronicity, dimension and natural form.


Kathleen's persistent reach beyond the limits of the most modern photographic technologies led to her use - or mis-use - of Polaroid instant imaging materials which have been discontinued. 

 

Any stock that can still be found is expired and deteriorated, which is good news to those who treasure the nature of organic decay to interpret a world similarly changing and eroding over time.  The Polaroid intercepts the moment, and then she alters the film by peeling, washing, scraping, and even microwaving to personalize her own real-time experience in the tropics, lending a strong and evident hand to what is too often a third-person technical art.


The results are an eerie immersion in the lushness and mystery of Latin-America, suggesting a time before electronic technology homogenized the different cultures.  And culture is truly at the heart of her work, which is not limited to colorful, manipulated instant images of natural landscapes.  Appropriate media has historically been essential to the final image, so she can more often be found in the grittiest areas of downtown San Jose, rangefinder on hip, shooting black and white documentary street photographs on film, which she scans and then edits digitally. 


Different as these bodies of work may seem, the common ingredient is always Kathleen's direct, intense, penetrating gaze on everything in her divergent path.

KATHLEEN FONSECA   

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