L.A. Photo Curator: Global Photography Awards - 'Where Photography & Philanthropy Meet' FIRST PLACE: KENT KRUGH
NORTHERN CARDINAL (Cardinalis cardinalis) by Kent Krugh
(Click on image for larger image)

Review by curator Michael Kirchoff:
"Kent Krugh’s photograph, Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis_cardinalis), is a blending of art and science that appeals to me on a deeper level for reminding me of some of my childhood curiosities. In fact, geology and paleontology were thought of as early career goals for me, before the lure of the camera and darkroom swayed me and took hold permanently. It was this reminder that immediately drew me in early in the process of finding a favorite among the plethora of amazing images submitted for this competition. Krugh’s image has the qualities and aesthetics inherent of an individual who seamlessly blends careers and blurs lines.

There is a lot to study in a photograph like this, much as if it were to be used in classroom study, but from a perspective of beauty and grace. With all of the different and varied species of birds in this world, it is clear that this approach towards the natural environment lends itself to an ongoing series, which I am curious about as well. The graphic nature seen in the composition of the image also has overtones of a religious nature, which only heightens the curiosity of the photograph. While all is laid bare in this image, it is still the air of mystery that captures my attention most of all. I will be looking for more to find the answers to these secrets, this I know, as my childhood curiosity has come roaring back."

Michael Kirchoff asks, "The winning image, Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis_cardinalis), has all of the elements born from a creator who is fully steeped in science as well as the arts. Is this indeed your background, and what drew you to creating this particular work?"

Kent Krugh says, "I am a practicing Medical Physicist working in a hospital based Radiation Oncology center.  We treat cancer patients with radiation. One part of my job is to calibrate and perform quality assurance procedures on the linear accelerators that produce the radiation that treats the patients. For the past ten years I have been using x-rays to make art.  First dolls, then cameras, and last year birds and other objects found in nature.  Actually, I X-ray anything that seems interesting to me and fits on a few pieces of film or the digital imager."

Kirchoff says, "Is this photograph from a body of work that is finished or ongoing? Are there any limitations to how or where you document the different species?"

Krugh says, "This piece, Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis_cardinalis), is a composite of a photograph and an x-ray.  It is part of a small series, Aviary X, of a dozen birds.  The series, for the most part, is finished."

Kirchoff says, "What was the spark of inspiration you had in beginning this work? Was it based upon a curiosity of the natural environment, or something more personal?"

Krugh says, "One day in December 2018 I heard a loud "thunk" coming from my deck.  A cardinal had slammed into the glass patio door and died.  I picked up the bird, still warm, and admired it's beauty.  I wondered what an X-ray would look like so I took it to work the next day.  I also photographed the bird in my studio.  So my inspiration was curiosity fueled by a love of all things natural.  The x-rays of the birds were surprisingly diminutive.  They are mostly feathers.  Not surprising when one marvels and considers how effortlessly they defy gravity and fly."

More about Kent Krugh:
Kent Krugh says, "I heard a crash near the kitchen patio door and saw a cardinal lying on the deck.  When I picked it up it was warm but lifeless.  The feathers glimmered in the sunlight with a sheen that I did not suspect, and the bird became something other than what I had always known at a distance.  Curious, I wondered how I might photograph it in a way that had not been tried before – a difficult assignment.
In medicine there are a variety of imaging modalities that can be used for diagnosis; different techniques that when juxtaposed will complement each other and provide a clearer understanding of the patient’s condition.  X-ray is a modality that produces a transparent picture and reveals the unseen internal structure.  With this in mind, I began a project in which I photographed the bird and then X-rayed it.  A composite was made so that both the delicate pattern and texture of the bird’s feathers and the internal skeleton can be seen.
Birds are often caged and kept from flying.  Whereas an aviary is a large enclosure that confines birds but allows them to fly -- a large environment that lets the soul soar.  Something we all long for and some of us pray to keep."
Kent Krugh is a fine art photographer living and working in Cincinnati. He holds a BA in Physics from Ohio Northern University and an MS in Radiological Physics from the University of Cincinnati.

His work has been exhibited in numerous exhibitions both national and international and in major festivals including FotoFest in Houston and the Festival de la Luz in Buenos Aires.

He is the recipient of numerous awards and honors in both national and international print and portfolio competitions and has been a Photolucida Critical Mass Finalist. His work is held in various collections including the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Portland Art Museum, and the Cincinnati Art Museum. A book of camera x-rays and essays by A.D. Coleman and Barbara Tannenbaum, Speciation: Still a Camera, was published in 2018 by Fraction Editions.  Krugh curated the exhibition “New World: Refugees and Immigrants photograph the experience of new life in America” at the University of Cincinnati Clermont for the FotoFocus 2018 Biennial festival in Cincinnati, OH.
Career Highlights:
Solo Exhibitions
2018 Speciation: Still a Camera, Panopticon Gallery, Boston, MA
2016 Inside the Gate, Museo de Artes Plásticas Eduardo Sívori, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Angel Oak, Roberta Marx Gallery, Thomas Jefferson Unitarian, Louisville, KY
Artworks by Kent Krugh, Pop Revolution Gallery, Hamilton, OH
Selected Group Exhibitions
2019 See the Music, Off Ludlow Gallery, Cincinnati, OH
Auto/Update, The Carnegie, FotoFocus Exhibition, Covington, KY
32nd  Annual Juried Members Only Show, Texas Photographic Society, San Antonio, TX
Chania International Photo Festival, Chania, Greece
Unbound 8, Candela Books + Gallery, Richmond, VA
FOCUS Photo LA Summer Exhibition, 195 Chrystie Street, NY, NY
6th Annual Open Call, Rhode Island Center for Photographic Arts, Providence, RI
The Curated Fridge- Winter Show, Somerville, MA
Moscow International Fotography Awards, Moscow Photocenter, Moscow, Russia
2018 Hypotheses, Columbus Cultural Arts Center, Columbus, OH
Size Matters, Medium Festival of Photography, Sparks Gallery, San Diego, CA
Archive [photo], Manifest Creative Research Gallery and Drawing Center, Cincinnati, OH
Sacred, LightBox Photographic Gallery, Astoria, OR
5th Biennial of Fine Art & Documentary Photography, Barcelona, Spain
Sacred, LightBox Photographic, Astoria, OR
31st Annual Juried Members Only Show, Texas Photographic Society, San Antonio, TX
Water, PhotoPlace Gallery, Middlebury, VY
Tokyo Photo Awards Exhibiton, CA Gallery, Tokyo, Japan
The National: Best Contemporary Photography 2018, Ft. Wayne Museum of Art, Ft. Wayne, IN
Still Lifes, SxSE PhotoGallery, Molena, GA
2019 San Franscisco Bay International Photography Competition, Gold Award Winner
Moscow International Fotography Awards, Honorable Mention in Fine Art/Still Life, Moscow
2018 Hypotheses, Columbus Cultural Arts Center, Third Place
Critical Mass 2018 Finalist, Photolucida, Portland, OR
The National: Best Contemporary Photography, Ft. Wayne Museum of Art, Juror’s Merit Award
Tokyo Foto Awards, Tokyo, Gold, Fine Art Special Effects, Silver, Science-Technology
Ft. Wayne Museum of Art, Ft. Wayne, IN
Fundacion Luz Austral, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Cincinnati Art Museum, Cincinnati, OH
Portland Art Museum, Portland, OR
Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH
The Christ Hospital, Cincinnati, OH
Cleveland Institute of Art, Cleveland, OH
Fitton Center for Creative Arts, Hamilton, OH
Methodist Hospital, Houston, TX
Private Collections