Artists Statement


My job has always been to help people see the world differently. That was true when I was a psychology professor, when I directed counseling and advising programs, and true now, as an artist. I have had two major bodies of work before this. The first was the Bodyscapes ( where what is first seen as a landscape then appears as a nude human body. The second body of work involved hand painted black and white photographs, where the hand coloring gave a slightly unreal feeling to the image.

Now, in this new series – COUNTERPOINT - we are presented with two objects that differ in important ways. This difference might be natural/ man-made; soft / hard; or just very different in their looks or functions. The difference between the objects, the seemingly lack of any connection between the objects, presents us with a tension that we need to resolve. The resolution may be to see the tension between the objects as a thing in itself, or to see the meaning of the object change, as its original function no longer seems relevant.

It is my hope that such visual experiences will remind us that we have infinite choice on how we view the world. These choices have profound influences on what unfolds next. If we remember this, then every one of perceptual choices becomes a conscious act, rather than an automatic response, and we literally create the world with our consciousness.

The Origin of this Work

I spend the summers in Ohio, at an old farmhouse with a couple of barns. One of the barns is now our studio. When I walk out of the house to the studio, I walk through gardens that my partner, the artist Barbara Krupp and I have built. We have several crabapple trees also, and late in the summer there are many crab apples on the ground. I picked up one and paired it with a micrometer, and the first of the counterpoint images emerged. I had collected various tools and other antiques for years, not knowing exactly what I would do with them. That first image felt like a revelation: the combination of the natural and the man-made, the soft and the hard - it was the contrast between the objects that spoke to me. I was soon picking flowers from the garden and pairing them with tools and artifacts. The combination wasn't necessarily logical - and that was the beauty of it.

Some images, like the bird's nest on the plate, were surrealistic. Others were simply beautiful or striking. Some of the images involve using an object in unusual ways – such as when the leaf is used as we would use a piece of cloth. With the meaning up for grabs, we see the leaf differently.

Sometimes people will ask what the image means. I remember a gallery director who would tell customers who asked the meaning of a painting, that "we don't ask what a Mozart symphony means!"  It is the experience itself which gives meaning to the image. The power here is in the contrast and in the unanswered questions. 


The first twenty or so images were the product of two months of work in the late summer of 2023. Returning to Florida for the winter I realized that the flowers here were very different from the north, and the images that I produced in Florida were likely to be different as well. "Counterpoint" is an ongoing project, and new images will be added to the collection as it develops. I hope you enjoy their beauty and their mystery!



Allan Teger

January, 2024