Diane Reeves was born in Los Angeles, CA in 1950. Reeves family moved to the undeveloped suburb of Torrance when she was five. When not in school, she spent all of her time exploring the neighborhood. Collecting tadpoles from the nearby “ditch” and climbing trees in the cow pastures, everyday was a new adventure.
Reeves moved to Redondo Beach in 1972 and collects images of life on black and white film while continuing her adventures. Life seen and unseen, or perhaps just unnoticed is her subject. The addition of color to the images changes their meaning in subtle ways.
Her first series, “A Sense of Place…Death Valley”, seeks to challenge beliefs about photographic reality by using a texture screen that has been torn and inserted in the camera before the photography takes place. The play of real and surreal is created by the real and texture images taken together in the same photograph. The addition of oil paint only heightens the illusion.
In “Visions From the Corner of My Eye”, Reeves was looking for the truth in images. This body of work consists of photos that have been selected for their mundane subject matter. The application of oil paint and pencil is to twist reality to reveal truths formerly unnoticed.
Reeves series, “Searching for the Meaning of Life at the Peking Noodle Factory”, again pairs mundane subject matter with unusual color, but with the added context of words. Having collected “Good Fortune” in Chinese restaurants for years, Reeves is using these words to bring additional meaning to the work. Never content to work one idea at a time, Reeves has become interested in texturing again. This time though, instead of working inside the camera, she is adding texture to the surface with handmade papers and tearing away portions of the photos and repainting those areas.
In the series, “Grave Décor, A Celebration of Memory”, Reeves utilizes the computer as her newest tool. The images are from the local cemetery and reflect her interest in the living and their desire to hold onto a memory. Photographed on conventional B/W film, printed and hand-colored, the images are then scanned, manipulated and re-printed on rice paper for a texture that is truly imbedded in the image. The resultant works are hung free floating as scrolls.
Currently Reeves is working on a series she calls, “Duets”. This time she is taking two separate black and white photos and cutting them apart. Then she weaves the pieces back together to get an image greater than the sum of its parts. The resultant weaving is attached to a piece of hand made paper with grommets. Reeves then adds oil paint, pencil, India ink, yarns, beads, assorted jewelry pieces and staples.
Reeves has practiced Commercial Photography for more than 20 years specializing in Executive Portraiture, Annual Reports and Advertising. Self-taught, she never misses a chance to learn more through seminars and classes. Active in local arts organizations, she’s a past President of the Palos Verdes Art Center Artists, past Vice-President of the Artists Open Group, current Secretary for the Redondo Beach Arts Group, former Treasurer for the Torrance Art Guild and past curator of the James Armstrong Theatre Lobby shows with Sharon Barraclough. She teaches children’s art classes in the City of Torrance’s Parks and Recreation Department. Reeves has, for the past nine years participated in the Hands On Art Program as a volunteer docent to teach art to Redondo Beach grade school children.