Jack Ludlam Works

Jack Ludlam

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Denver, Colorado

I was the kid who wanted to be a cowboy. I wanted to be able to make my own way, to be tough as nails, and thrive in the harshest of surroundings. At the time, I didn’t quite realize what qualities made that lifestyle possible for the modern cowboy. Looking back now, it was their conviction to the trade and their way of life. Growing up in Ohio, in an area on the edge of vast farmland to the North, and suburban development to the South, I spent most of my days going North. There were no cowboys but there were plenty of farmers, mechanics, welders, tradesmen, and women who shared the qualities I was so taken by.

Photography came into my life organically. On occasion, the bow or the fishing rod in my hand was replaced by a camera - an item of my mother’s, usually taken without permission. While the images I made often came back blurry and underexposed I will never forget the excitement of receiving images back from the rolls of film I had exposed. Later, I developed a love for the film medium while studying at Regis University. This reintroduction to film photography sparked my excitement and my want to create. Days and nights were spent in the darkroom, film was lost, scratched or ruined, college parties were skipped and replaced with a few solitary beers and time to develop and print from film. I took the lessons learned from the people I admired growing up in Ohio and applied them to my photographic processes. I aimed to capture the spirit of the tools and materials that the people I admired so much interacted with every day. To appreciate the true detail and quality of these objects I developed a workflow that was subtractive. Removing the clutter and surroundings left me with simple yet striking images. Images that encourage the viewer to lean in and appreciate the subject matter for what it is and for the stories and values that it may possess.

These people and their processes are irreplaceable. They are undeniable in their uniqueness, yet under appreciated and undervalued. Rather than observing these alternative lifestyles with judgement, we can look to these people and processes with curiosity and appreciation. Too often lifestyles outside of our own are perceived and twisted by judgement and misunderstanding, however these people and their processes are timeless and irreplaceable. They are a staple of the American condition. They are a part of American iconography as a whole. My photographs intend to capture these lifestyles and processes. To present them to people that otherwise would never see - let alone - experience them. The rust, the scratches, the wear and tear - that is where the stories lie.

BFA - Emphasis in analog photography - Regis University


Selected Publications:

Filson Life - “On The Banks” - 2013
Filson Life - “Remembering The Duck Season Opener” - 2014 Cucumber Magazine Japan - Featured Artist 2019
OUTSET - Featured Artist 2022
Colorado Homes and Lifestyles - Artist Spotlight 2022


Selected Exhibitions:

Proper Barbershop First Friday. Proper Barbershop. Denver, Co. September 2013 Berkeley Supply First Friday. Berkeley Supply. Denver, Co. October 2013
Filson Seattle Flagship, Fall 2015-present
Svperordinary Solo Show 2015 - "Relic"

O'sullivan Art Gallery 2016 - "These Hands" Svperordinary Solo Show 2017 - "Back Before Dark” Filson NYC Showroom Gallery 2017 - Untitled Assorted Works - 2019 - Chelsea Market NYC


Selected Collections:

Filson - Permanent Collection
The New Collection - Permanent Collection