Jack's First Exhibition at
Robert Mede Gallery
Invitation to Friends and Friends

Click to continue on to Photo Gallery

123 Edward Street
Suite 703
Toronto, Ontario
   M5G 1E2
(416) 593-4093
       (416) 777-1588

Dear friends and family:

Exploring Photography in the Digital Age”

An exhibition of my photographs and photographic art will be shown at the Robert Mede Gallery, located at 321 Davenport Road, Upper Level, Toronto, on Thursday, April 24, 2003.  The opening on the 24th is from 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m and the show will run through Sunday, May 4th.  (I’ll be at the Gallery on the Saturdays and Sundays.)

 Proceeds from the show will be donated to the Make-a -Wish Foundation of Toronto, in memory of my late brother, Lou and brother-in-law, Perry Sherman.

  Now for some background on my first public show.  My father was a Master Photographer who opened a photographic studio on Queen Street, Toronto in the early 1920's.  My brother, Al Gilbert, O.C., continued in my father’s footsteps and is regarded as one of the world’s leading portrait photographers.  Al will open the show.  My parents decided that one of their children had to be a doctor, lawyer or dentist and I, by default, chose law and it has been an exciting and rewarding career. I retired from practicing law in 1994 after 41 years but have remained active  in several entrepreneurial pursuits.

Throughout my professional career I maintained an interest in photography but it was only in the past 5 years when I recognized that the combination of a digital camera, computer, and tabletop printer, represented a revolution in photography.  The move from the chemical darkroom to the “digital” darkroom was well on its way and I joined it with a passion.

At a recent convention of the Professional Photographers of America which I attended as a guest of Al, who was one of the keynote speakers, it was made clear to the assembled professional photographers from all over the continent that those who did not wake up and recognize the “digital” writing on the wall would shortly be left behind.

What is meant by “digital”?

Here’s the basic concept: Digital means using numbers to represent something, and that’s exactly what a computer does.  An image captured by a digital camera is converted into numerical data (a long string of ones and zeros) that describe or quantify each sample point or “pixel” (short for picture element, the basic unit of image information) in terms of certain attributes such as colour and intensity.  This data can be stored manipulated and ultimately transformed in the computer and with desktop digital printing technologies back into a normally viewed image.

I have been asked: If this is a digital print, where is the original?  Well, with traditional photography, the negative or transparency is the physical master or “matrix” for making repeatable prints in the chemical darkroom.  Digital fine art printing is different.  There is no physical matrix.  The  matrix now sits in the computer in the form of digital data that can be converted repeatedly into a print by anyone who self prints.

Here is a quick historical overview of photography and the field of image capture and production.

For pioneering days we have to go back to Louis Daguerre (1839) who produced the first fixed photographs.  These were of course black and white.  Real colour photography didn’t actually begin until 1935 when Kodak launched its famous Kodachrome transparency film, followed in 1939 by Agfa with the first paper for printing from colour negatives.  Now we have the revolutionary third major print category, digital prints resulting from a digital master or matrix.

The digital wave has definitely broken over the photographic/image making field, and most photographers are riding it (they’ll drown if they don’t).  Some say that the digital revolution is as important as the invention of colour photography, even photography itself.

So what about acceptance?  A watershed event marking the world’s acceptance of “digital” was the Whitney Museum of American Art’s Exhibition in March 2001.  “Exploring the Importance of Digital Technology on American Art”.  It was followed quickly by the Brooklyn Museum of Art which staged “Digital-Printmaking Now”.  The second largest art museum in the U.S. had now put its huge stamp of approval on digitally created photography/photographic art.

But what about the original digital prints you will see at this show.  My hand lies heavily on all of the steps in the making of the prints.  Using a digital camera, heavy duty computer, a host of image-editing software (principally Photoshop, the worldwide standard), a remarkable Epson 2200 printer, I maintain a personal and intense relationship with the image as I guide it through the various stages of creation, manipulation and printing.  The aesthetic decisions are all mine.  The camera, computer and printer are just my tools supplanting the smelly chemical darkroom of the past.

I plan to limit the production of each print to a maximum of ten with each print being an original.  All my photos have a story to tell, but I would rather leave the initial interpretation to the viewer.

It is my hope that you enjoy my first public show.

Thanks are due to the following for their encouragement and sponsorship.

Al Gilbert, O.C. (Gilbert Studios Ltd.)

Ina Gilbert (my wife and a consummate fine art digital artist)  www.art4today.com

Ruth Sherman

Joey & Toby Tanenbaum

Harvey & Elise Kalles (Harvey Kalles Real Estate Ltd.)

Sidney & Janice Ackerman (Ontario Paint & Wallpaper Ltd.)

Edward L. Greenspan, Q.C.

Fogler Rubinoff LLP

First Associates Investments Inc.

Epson Canada

And to Robert Mede of The Robert Mede Gallery

who has graciously waived the usual gallery commissions


 A brief background on The Robert Mede Gallery

Located in the Designers Walk area of Toronto, The Robert Mede Gallery was opened in 1995.   A second-generation art dealer, Robert Mede took over his late father’s Montreal-based business in 1993 and moved the company to Toronto.  The Gallery specializes in 19th and 20th century oils, watercolours, and sculpture, with emphasis on European art.  The Gallery is also known as the leading expert in 19th and 20th century bronzes in Canada.

The Make-A-Wish Foundation

is the largest wish-granting organization in the world, with affiliates in 25 countries.  It exists for one purpose - to fulfill the special wishes of children who have been diagnosed with a life-threatening illness.

Created by
Toby Batz on May 15, 2003