Florida photographer Jeff League's work is in galleries and private collections across the United States, and has been exhibited at the Orlando Museum of Art, and the Austrian Super Circuit, in Linz, Austria. His work is included in the permanent collection of the Polaroid Corporation.
Although Jeff League has been working in photography for more than eight years, it wasn't always his medium of choice for creative expression. He first pursued a career in music, but after intensive study of jazz as a bass player, he felt that it wasn't right for him. Instead he felt drawn to photography, which had once been just a high school hobby.
He has since channeled his energies into photography, developing two distinct bodies of work: Polaroid image transfer, and black and white fiber prints.
His work with Polaroid image transfer evolved into a collage as a way to produce large works without the use of the 20 x 24 format camera. Image transfer is the process of separating an underdeveloped Polaroid peel-apart print, pressing the negative onto a receptor sheet such as watercolor paper to transfer the print dye into the surface, and then peeling away and discarding the negative.
Most of Jeff's pieces are composed from multiple sheets of film, each individually processed, positioned, and transferred, rendering every finished work an original, with no two exactly alike. While still wet, he selectively scrapes and scratches the emulsion, blending colors and images together and using the texture of the paper to create a distressed surface. Each piece is entirely created by hand; no computers are used in this work.
Much of Jeff's work is inspired by two lifelong preoccupations - birds of prey, and the writings of Joseph Campbell on the study of myth. As Campbell wrote, "Dreams are private myths and myths are public dreams." For Jeff, "The imperfections and the disjointedness, the slightly off perspective, produce images that are like a dream state." He associates the distressed surface with the "texture of age, and the timeless collective memory of myth".
His black and white series also uses a type of Polaroid negative collaged together. He scratches and rubs the negatives with spot toner, sometimes cutting them into pieces and rejoining them. Although some of the imagery is drawn from the same subject matter as his image transfer series, Jeff feels it represents "the darker side of me, of my work. It is more spontaneous. Whatever comes out happens in the light box."
Jeff League lives and works in Winter Park, Florida.