Visual Culture Lecture: Rocky McCorkle

Another Extra Credit Op for Digital Art Students >>

Rocky McCorkle, Photography Lecture

6:00 PM Tuesday March 27 in Montague Hall 70

Rocky McCorkle, born in 1978 in Columbus, Ohio, currently lives and works in San Francisco, California. He studied photography at The Ohio State University in Columbus (2001-2005) and earned his MFA at the San Francisco Art Institute (2005-2007).

For the past few years, McCorkle has been constructing a silent film narrating the internal discourse of an elderly woman in today’s pervasively influential world. Through a sequence of stills, “You and Me On A Sunny Day” explores the impact that film and fictional media has on her way of life. Each frame in this ongoing series is a large-format (8×10-inch) photograph.

Rocky McCorkle

In 2008, McCorkle’s solo exhibition “You and Me On A Sunny Day” at Little Tree Gallery received a rave review in Artweek, where contributing editor Colin Berry compared his work to the photography of Lukas Roth and Andreas Gursky. In 2007, he was a winner in PDN (Photo District News) Magazine’s Pix Digital Imaging Contest 13 and Photographer’s Forum College Contest. McCorkle, a member of Nikon’s Emerging Artist Hall of Fame, has been exhibited at Baer Ridgway Exhibitions in San Francisco, Lennox Contemporary in Toronto, and GoEun Museum of Photography in South Korea.


2 thoughts on “Visual Culture Lecture: Rocky McCorkle

  1. I really enjoyed Rocky McCorkle’s work, You and Me, a project that he has been working on for 5 years. His commitment to this project is incredible. He converted his whole apartment into the set of the photo shoot. He bought most of the objects in the scenes to specifically meet the story behind the photos. He hired a lady named Gilda to be the main character in his series. I thought it was very neat that he used actual objects from her own past to create the story behind his project. I also thought it was a great idea that he made the photos on a large scale, I think if they would have been any smaller that they wouldn’t of been as successful. I admire Rocky’s style and I would like to create a series similar to his. I’ve always wanted to create a series with people that tells a story. Hopefully someday I’ll be able to do a large scale narrative just like Rocky.


  2. Rocky Mccorkle was fascinating to me. Looking at the images that he painstakingly puts together from many images to make one unbelievably sharply focused image was mind-boggling. I think of all of the photo editing that I do that I think takes “forever” and then heard about images that are 60+ GB files and take about 15+ minutes just to save, I am humbled. Plus taking on this large of a project while having a full time job, sticking with it for five years, and paying $30,000+ out of your own pocket. I salute him and he has my utmost respect.
    As for the actual content of his project, I loved the whole story. I thought Gilda was brilliant and looked like she could definitely be my friend. How he incorporated real parts of her life story into the character was genius and it made it that much more believable. I thought it was odd that the day before I attended this lecture I looked at my eBay account for the first time and months and actually orders something, only to hear about the self proclaimed “eBay power buyer” the very next day.
    One of the questions from the audience was about the author Roberto Bolaño (2666) who was an influence of Mccorkle’s and whether the influence was based on content or the way he did his work, because Bolaño also took on a very difficult long term project much like Rocky. He seemed like he hadn’t noticed this similarity before and answered I guess both. Another question was about if the images were planned out before he started and he said they were, I was amazed at the amount of time that had to take. One of the last questions was about things that he didn’t enjoy doing in his process and in his answer he said something along the lines of even though he didn’t like them they helped him grow, I thought that was a good message to all of us young artists that everything you do whether you enjoy it or not will help you grow as an artist. I think this idea will help me try to keep more of an open mind about my art.


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