Cy DeCosse, ’52
Which version of Cy DeCosse do you want to hear about? The eager young Valley City, North Dakota native who went to art school? The advertising art director who discovered photography? How about the custom-publishing entrepreneur, the world traveler, or the devoted MCAD Trustee?
Cy DeCosse the artist deserves special mention. Since he first started developing and printing in his basement long ago, he’s been drawn to beauty. He finds the beauty in people and places—in his beloved Tuscany, for example—but especially in flowers. The close attention he once applied to food imagery—groundbreaking in its own way—is now applied to the never-ending surprises he’s discovered within petals and leaves.
In addition, working with his master printer, Keith Taylor, DeCosse has found new potential in older methods of photographic printing: gum bichromate, photogravure, platinum. The images are taken with digital cameras, but that source allows for more latitude than ever in the printing process, and the results are luscious, mysterious, and more like landscapes than close-ups.
The flower portraits sum up DeCosse’s lifelong skill at both thinking forward and remembering the past. Whether it’s an innovative business or a revived artistic process, he’s determined to keep learning, finding new possibilities.