Art Montage 1
CLOUD FORMATIONS
Sig Bokalders enrolled in art school at Northern Illinois University in 1974 to
study Design. While taking a beginning photography course in 1976, he
found inspiration in a beautiful picture he made of a cirrus cloud over a
cornfield.

He began producing a collection of black and white photographs featuring
clouds as the main subject. By 1978, he staged an exhibition of 52 of his
images at the University gallery along with an audio-visual slide show called
“Not For This World.” Upon graduation with a BFA degree, he won a $500
purchase award in a Chicago art photography competition juried by Art
Kane.

That year and the next, 1979, his images were published in PORTFOLIO, a
national college art photography magazine.

“Clouds Over Corn” was published on the cover of NIU’s Undergraduate
Catalog in 1980. Bokalders won Jury Purchase Awards from Columbia
College in Chicago and Illinois Photographers statewide competitions in ‘80
and ’82.

Later, In 1992, the progressive rock group “Pentwater” used several of
Bokalder’s images for their CD album, as well as “Landing Airplane” on the
cover.

CloudSeries photographs were shown in Palm Beach at Helander Gallery
and Arij Gasiunasen Fine Art, and at Carolyn Roy in New York in 1994.

Bokalders’ work has appeared numerous times at the Armory Art Center in
West Palm Beach. In 1994, he helped found the original Artist’s Ball event.
In 1997, “This Must Be My Floor” won Best Of Show at the annual Art Of
Photography competition.

“Clouds Over Blocks” won an award at SUNFEST 1995 where Bokalders
was an art exhibitor.

In 1998, three of his images exhibited at Palm Beach Photographic Center’s
annual INFOCUS competition, where “Lisa’s Dream” earned an award.

“Unorthodox Photography” in 1999 featured new digital montage images at
Governors Club of The Palm Beaches.

The CloudSeries have also appeared in galleries in San Francisco, Atlanta
and Stockholm, Sweden and are in private collections around the world.

ART REVIEW ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE PALM BEACH POST TGIF SECTION, AUGUST 26,1994 REPRINTED BY PERMISSION
Art Montage 2
CLOUDS OVER METAL ROOF 1979
"HE'S HIGH IN THE CLOUDS ALL IN THE NAME OF ART"
By Gary Schwan, Palm Beach Post Art Writer

In the 1920’s, the American photographer Alferd Stieglitz undertook a
series of pictures devoted to clouds. He called the series Equivalents. As the
title implies, the aim was to create pictures that were metaphors for feeling.

In the fashion of Whistler, Stieglitz wanted to show that form could be more
important than subject matter. The clouds were obviously clouds, but the
real theme was the emotions evoked by their shape and pattern. The
individual titles were also Whistlerian: “Symphony” and “Composition,” for
example.

Sig Bokalders is another cloud catcher. The Palm Beach photographer
shoots black and white pictures dominated by romantic, subtly illuminated
clouds. Four of his large-scale pictures are on view at the Helander Gallery,
350 S. County Rd., Palm Beach.

Bokalders doesn’t share Stieglitz’s concerns. Although his pictures are
emotionally evocative, I don’t see metaphor at work. Bokalders has a sharp
eye for abstract form and subtle tonalities. However, the photos appear part
of a more straightforward, romantic landscape tradition.

The compositions have a vertical thrust, with soaring clouds dominating
most of the pictures. A sense of verticality exists even when the flat expanse
of the American heartland stretches out along the bottom of the work–
stalks of corn, for example, or spiky trees. (Bokalders, an Illinois native, is a
staff photographer with the Palm Beach Daily News.)

Bokalders’ clouds appear thick and textural. The patterns look like a swatch
of rug under a microscope, or a range of ridges as seen from the air. In one
case, however, the clouds are as wispy as smoke and appear to be forming
some mystical symbol.

The clouds are often illuminated from behind, often creating a nimbus effect.
In addition, veins of light snake through the dark-faced clouds. There’s a
twilight quality to most of the photos, although I wouldn’t be surprised to
learn that some were photographed at midday and a little darkroom work
was added for effect.

Bokalders has sincerity, a sharp eye and a romantic sensibility that doesn’t
cloy.

ARTIST STATEMENT OF INTENT
Art Montage 2
CLOUDS OVER BLOCKS 1994
THE CLOUD SERIES AND THE NATURAL SPIRIT
As inhabitants of our fragile planet, we are generally Earthbound creatures.
Through centuries of history, we have always been looking skyward, as if
hoping for transformation to something better.

Throughout the CloudSeries, a constant repeating theme of Earthbound
objects appearing before cloud formations and the contrasts they present
work to provide a kind of visual transformational dialogue between the
elements.

Images of clouds become transformed into a heightened reality. Thus a
cloud formation may appear as smoke, or flames, or even that of a Christian
cross.

The resulting image looks more intense than the original reality. Such is the
power of photography. It can exceed the power of other media such as
painting, because photography has the ability to produce its own reality from
the real world.

The CloudSeries is at it’s finest when these expressionistic images take on a
new meaning, interpreted by the viewer in their own personal way. It
continually amazes me that two different people will interpret two different
meanings from the same image.

The foreground and background elements of the images are not exclusive of
themselves. Neither is the location where the photograph was made, as my
images are not place-specific. The feelings and emotions borne out by the
elements working together are what counts. In the CloudSeries, the whole is
always greater than the sum of its parts.

The heart sees what is invisible to the eye. The natural spirit is always at
work, but sometimes hidden. It reveals itself if you know where to look.

Sig Bokalders
July 2006



Copyright Sig Bokalders and Sigvision Photography, Inc. All Rights Reserved.