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Domestic Image (Jar with Edge)

James Cagle


archival digital pigment print

12" x 18"

Domestic Image (Jar with Edge) can be seen simply as a quiet photograph of a commonplace object set against a nondescript background. Considered from another vantage point, however, it is precisely the simplicity of this composition and the ordinariness of the object and setting that make it a compelling work of art. The image, a white monochrome, has just enough tonal variation for viewers to differentiate the edges of the clear jar from the white table it sits on and the blank wall behind it. This gradual revelation of forms calls attention to the fundamental act of looking: void of any visual “noise,” the photograph becomes a study in the process of perception.

For each work in his Domestic Image series, Cagle used his apartment complex in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, as a backdrop for discovering moments of beauty hidden in plain sight. Exploring his immediate surroundings and isolation everyday objects and overlooked spaces—a box of Kleenex, sunlight against a wall, an empty glass jar—Cagle, through his photographs, reveals the unexpected richness that is everywhere, all around us.


Gift of the artist