examples of colorgrams
about colorgrams
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Scotty Sapiro, from Brooklyn, New York is a graduate of Art Center, Los Angeles, where he studied following World War II and first met andstudied with Man Ray, who pioneered "Ray-o-Grams." Under thetutelage of R. Bruce Inverarity, Sapiro gained admission to the Instituteof Design (New BauHaus) In Chicago, where he studied visual design withMoholy Nagy and Buckminster Fuller.

Throughout his career, Sapiro continued to pursue his early fascinationwith the art of creating black & white or color Images directly ontophotographic paper, following in the footsteps of his former mentor, ManRay. Sapiro's Colorgramsare currently on display at the Novus Gallery, Atlanta, GA, and were shown recently at SeaFirst Bank's Exhibition Hall.

Other exhibitions of photographs and colorgrams have appeared at:

Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX
Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY
Nordic Heritage Museum, Seattle, WA
China Trade Center, Seattle, WA
Burke Museum, Seattle, WA

In 1994, Sapiro was asked to serve as Curator of Photography and was appointed to the Board of Directors for the proposed History House, a Fremont-basedproject "...with a mission to collect and preserve, exhibit and interpretthe history and heritage of Seattle's diverse neighborhoods...".

In 1985, at the invitation of the government of the Peoples Republicof China and the China Photographers' Association, Sapiro spent four monthsphotographing the same areas of China where he was stationed during WorldWar II while serving as an aerial reconnaissance photographer with the14th Air Force "Flying Tigers" Combined with Sapiro's photographstaken in the 1940's, these photographs formed the basis of his exhibitionentitled "China Then and Now - 1945-1985" which opened at theWing Luke Museum, Seattle, on Chinese New Years 1986.

In the early 1970's Sapiro established a studio In Seattle's PioneerSquare. His major clients included Boeing, Weyerhauser, Thai Airlines, Northwest Bell, Westin Hotels and Resorts, and Eddie Bauer catalogs. During that period he was awarded six Gold Medals for Editorial Photography.

In the 1950's and 60's Sapiro established his own photographic studio in Carnegie Hall, New York, photographing for major national accounts in the fields of fashion (Count Cassini, Scaasi), cosmetics (Faberge, Elizabeth Arden) and automobiles (General Motors) and others. Esquire magazine named Sapiro "Photographer of the Year" in 1951.


Colorgrams are images design, color and textures of many different kinds of materials. These materials are such that they become light modulators. When placed on photo-sensitive paper and then developed, they create very unusual images. They are made entirely without the camera or any other optical device. Both the photogram (black and white) and the colorgram can be called the key to photgraphy.

Fox Talbot first discovered camera-less photography in 1835. It was not until the 1920's that Man Ray and Moholy-Nagy truly pioneered the art form. Man Ray called his images "Ray-O-Graphs." Moholy-Nagy referred to them as "photograms" in his book Vision in Motion, (1947) where he states:

"Both the photographic amateur and the layman, acquiring through the photgram a deeper understanding of light and space values, will be inspired to explore the potentialities of the camera since the photogram teaches that the same characteristics of the graduations and contrasts have to be applied to camera work too. Good photography with the camera must enable us to capture the patterned interplay of light and shadow exactly as in cameraless photography. Thus photography becomes a translation of a world saturated with light and color into black, white and gray gradations. "