Dr. Dain L. Tasker 戴恩·塔斯克博士

Dr. Dain L. Tasker 戴恩·塔斯克博士

Dr. Dain L. Tasker  戴恩·塔斯克博士 (1872-1964)

 

During the Depression, the sinuous calla lily became a potent symbol of modern glamour, suggesting the willowy form of a Hollywood starlet in a satin ball gown. Many great photographers of the period--Imogen Cunningham, Edward Steichen, Man Ray, and even Ansel Adams--studied its elegant contours. Dr. Dain Loren Tasker’s calla lily holds its own with the photographs of these artists. Using an X-ray as his negative, Tasker transformed the lily’s satiny surface into a diaphanous veil to reveal the erect stamen beneath. The eroticism was intended. “Flowers are the expression of the love life of plants,” Tasker wrote.

Tasker’s dream-like images of the lily, iris, wisteria, lotus, columbine, bird-of-paradise, and more were the work of an inspired amateur. Born in 1872 in Beloit, Wisconsin, Tasker practiced medicine in Los Angeles as the chief radiologist at Wilshire Hospital, when radiology was still in its infancy. By 1920, he was involved with pictorial photography, producing conventionally artistic landscapes and portraits. It was in 1930 at the age of fifty-eight, however, that he found his artistic mission. Inspired by an x-ray photograph of an amaryllis made by a fellow Los Angeles physician, he began adjusting the x-ray technique for the human body to flowers. In “X-ray Goes Pictorial” (Popular Photography, March 1942), Tasker explained that “there is nothing particularly difficult about making x-ray of flowers,” assuming a photographer had access to a radiology lab. what is required is “an abiding patience” and knowledge of “flowers and their habits.” “Alternate periods of discouragement, hope, and pleasure are involved.”

Early on, Tasker turned for guidance in composing his floral studies to Will Connell, a prominent California photographer who was twenty-five years his junior. Although Tasker seemed content to give prints to nurses as graduation presents, Connell enthusiastically promoted his stunning results to a wider public. He urged Tasker to exhibit at the 1931 and 1932 salons of the Camera Pictorialists of Los Angeles Museum and the London Illustrated News to purchase Tasker’s print. And it was no doubt connell, regular contributor to U.S. Camera, who brought Tasker to the attention of that prestigious magazine, which published his photographs in the October 1939 issue.

Tasker worked within a circle of California pictorialists which until recently has been largely overlooked. His floral x-rays, part-science and part-art, boldly modern and delicately translucent, demonstrate the persistent vitality of the pictorial movement.

 

By  Bonnie Yochelson

New York Independent Curator and Critics

 

 

在大萧条期间,曲线优美的马蹄莲成为现代魅力的一个有力象征,成为好莱坞明星柔软身形在缎面舞会礼服中的一个很好的表现。这个时期的许多伟大的摄影师——伊莫金·坎宁安、爱德华·斯泰肯、曼·雷、甚至安塞尔·亚当斯,都研究其优雅的轮廓。相较这些摄影师的作品戴恩·塔斯克博士拍摄的马蹄莲非常具有自己的风格。使用X射线作为他的底片,塔斯克把百合光滑的表面变成了精致的面纱,露出勃起的雄蕊。色情是因为“花是植物爱情生活的表达,” 塔斯克写道。

塔斯克的百合、蝴蝶花、紫藤、莲花、耧斗菜、天堂鸟等梦幻般的画面,更激发了他的这份业余工作。斯塔克1872年出生于威斯康辛州贝洛伊特, 在放射学还处于起步阶段时,斯塔克在洛杉矶的威尔希尔医院做首席放射科医生。到1920年,他开始了写真摄影,拍摄传统艺术风景和肖像。1930年,在他58岁时,他发现了他的艺术使命。从一位洛杉矶医生的孤挺花的X射线照片得到灵感,他开始把对人体的X射线调整用到拍摄花。在“X射线图象” (《流行影像》,1942年3月),塔斯克解释说,“对于拍摄X射线下的鲜花没有什么特殊的困难,“假设一个摄影师有机会进入放射实验室,所需要的就是一个持久的耐心和“鲜花及习性”的知识以及“伴随挫折和希望交替的快乐。”

在早期,一位比他年轻25岁的加州著名摄影师威尔·康奈尔指导他进行花卉摄影。虽然塔斯克似乎只是想要打印他的作品送给护士作为毕业礼物,是康奈尔热情的将其迷人的作品公布给了更宽广的公众。他督促塔斯克1931和1932年在加州博物馆的影像沙龙举办展览,之后《伦敦新闻画报》也购买了其作品。毫无疑问,康奈尔作为美国摄影杂志的固定撰稿人,使塔斯克得到了主流媒体的关注,并在1939年10月刊上刊登了他的作品。

塔斯克一直只是活跃于加州画艺派摄影的圈子,直到现在他仍没有得到应有的重视。他的射线花是科学,也是艺术,大胆、现代、微妙的半透明效果演绎了图形的流动和持久的生命力。

 

 

邦妮·约克尔森

纽约独立策展人、评论家