John Chervinsky

John Chervinsky

Born: Niagra Falls, NY
1961 – 2015

Biography and Information


John Chervinsky  worked at an applied physics lab at Harvard University. His work is found in numerous public and private collections including the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; the Museum of Art, Portland, OR; and the Fidelity Investments Collection.

I am fascinated by the concept of time. I can measure it, account for it in an experiment in the lab, and live my life in it, but I still don’t know what it is, exactly. We are all aware of the great pioneering time and motion studies done by practitioners such as Eadweard Muybridge, Harold “Doc” Edgerton and even the experimental work of Bernice Abbott done during the late 1950’s at MIT. That work investigate motion with image capture intervals ranging from 100 nanoseconds (the time of the pulse of a fast strobe) to several seconds it takes for a horse to trot in front of a reference grid. In fact most contemporary photographs work somewhere within that range. What would happen then, if we decided to work outside that range? What would happen if we picked an image capture interval of not seconds, but weeks?

This conceptual work in progress is an investigation of the physical phenomena of still and moving objects in space over time.

My process is as follows:

1. Compose and photograph a still life.

2. Crop a subset of the image and send it to a painting factory in China.

3. Wait for an anonymous artist in China to complete an actual oil painting of the cropped section, and send it to me in the mail.

4. Reinsert the painting into the original setup and re-photograph.

As with previous work, I’m interested in issues relating to perspective. I’m interested in tensions expressed in the comparison between reality vs. representation. I’m interested what happens when I collaborate with another artist that has no idea they are involved in a collaboration, and I’m interested in seeing and expressing subtle changes over time that we might otherwise take for granted.


Associates Degree in Electrical Engineering, Niagara County Community College


An Experiment in Perspective, PhotoEye Project Gallery, Santa Fe, NM

John Chervinsky: Studio Physics + An Experiment in Perspective, Pictura Gallery, Bloomington, IN

John Chervinsky: An Experiment in Perspective, Studio Physics, Galerie Youn, Montreal, Quebec

John Chervinsky: Studio Physics, Wall Space Gallery, Seattle, WA

John Chervinsky: Studio Physics, Corden|Potts Gallery, San Francisco, CA

Studio Physics, Ellen Miller Gallery, Boston MA

Selections from Studio Physics, Photo Eye Gallery, Santa Fe, NM

Frames of Reference, Richard Levy Gallery, Albuquerque, NM

Wallspace Gallery, Santa Barbara, CA

Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory Art Gallery, Batavia, IL

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (in conjuncture with the PRC), Cambridge, MA

Peer Gallery (Michael Mazzeo Gallery), New York, NY

Blue Sky Gallery, Portland, OR

BF Annex, Boston, MA

2005 Griffin Museum of Photography, Winchester, MA

Group Exhibitions

Heavenly Bodies, Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Santa Barbara, CA

Diffusion: A Five Year Retrospective, Verve Gallery of Photography, Santa Fe, NM

Still Life Lives!, Fitchburg Art Museum, Fitchburg, MA

Miller Yezerski Gallery, Boston, MA

Two Person Show with John Cyr, Davis Orton Gallery, Hudson, NY

Group Show Featuring Diffusion Magazine, Volume IV, Featured Artists, Luz Gallery, Victoria BC, Canada

Two Person Show with Ernie Button,
 Davis Orton Gallery, Hudson, NY

John Cleary Gallery, Houston, TX

Gallery 339, Philadelphia, PA

Seeing and Believing, Concord Art Association, Concord, MA

Three person show with Laura Letinsky and Olivia Parker, Pennsylvania College of Art and Design, Lancaster, PA

Art Fair!, Michael Mazzeo Gallery, New York, NY

PhotoForum Exhibition, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX

Time/Frame, Spencer Museum of Art, Lawrence, KS

Staged, with Cynthia Greig, Nancy Hill and Kathleen Volp, Clark Gallery, Lincoln, MA

Two Person Show, Benham Gallery, Seattle, WA

Photo Eye Gallery, Santa Fe, NM

International Discoveries Exhibition, FotoFest, Houston, TX

Photographic Resource Center, Boston, MA

Photography Now, Wright State University, Dayton, OH

Limited For Poetics Experience, Ann Arbor, MI

International Photographic Juried Exhibition, Center for Photographic Art, Carmel, CA

Focused!, Photographic Center Northwest, Seattle, WA

National Juried Exhibition 2005, Griffin Museum of Photography, Winchester, MA

National Juried Photography Competition, Camera Club of New York, New York, NY

Photo Lab(oratory), artSPACE@ 16 Gallery, Malden, MA

International New Talent Photography Exhibition, 70NW Gallery, Milford, PA

Photographic Resource Center MEmbers Exhibition, PRC, Boston, MA


Fidelity Investments, Boston, MA

Harvard Business School Collection, Cambridge, MA

List Visual Art Center Collection, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA

Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX

Polaroid Collection, Waltham, MA

Portland Museum of Art, Portland, OR

Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Santa Barbara, CA

Spencer Museum of Art, Lawrence, KS


Light Work, Syracuse, NY

Artist Fellowship Grant, Somerville Arts Council, Sommerville, MA



Scott D. Anthony, Paul Cobban, Rahul Nair, and Natalie Painchaud, Breaking down the Barriers to Innovation, Harvard Business Review, November-December 2019 Issue 

Jenna Garrett, Curious Still Life Images Combine Oil Paintings and Photography, Feature Shoot, April 30

Lisa Volpe, Heavenly Bodies, Exhibition Catalog, Nazraeli Press, Santa Barbara Museum of Art

Josef Woodard, Art Review: Outer Spatial Art- The Photography Show ‘Heavenly Bodies’ land at the Junction of Art, Science, and the Cosmos, Santa Barbara News Press, March 7

Barbara Davidson, reFramed: On a Scientific Angle, Los Angeles Times, January 26


Hourglass, Painting on Door, September Cover, Photo+ Magazine, Vol. 41

Amandas Ong, John Chervinsky at Corden Potts Gallery,, September 19

Barbara Davidson, reFramed: In Conversation with John Chervinsky, Los Angeles Times Photography, October 4

NY Times Portfolio Review John Chervinsky, Le Journal de la Photographie, April 16

Gina Tomaine, Found Art: Time Warp, Boston Magazine, Winter

Susan Burnstine, American Connection, Black + White Photography, January


Wesley Pulkka, Sally Condon’s Solo Showcase Stole the Show, Albuquerque Journal, December 30

Diane Armitage, John Chervinsky: Frames of Reference, THE Magazine, July

Wes Pulkka, You are entering a new dimension of time, Albuquerque Journal, May 27

Sam Adams, Last Saturday Artscrawl, Alibi, May 24 – 30

Photo-Eye blog, Photographer’s Showcase: John Chervinsky-Studio Physics, May 23

WSJ Staff, John Chervinsky at Wall Space Gallery,
 The Wall Street Journal, June

Feature Portfolio, 
View Camera Magazine, July/August

On nous cache tout on nous dit rien, 
Le Monde 2, January

Issues in Science and Technology, Fall

Feature Portfolio, Visual Communications Quarterly, Fall

Susan Reich, Harvard Portrait Article, Harvard Magazine, May-June

Three Paths to Publishing Your Photo Book, PDNedu, Vol. 6 Issue 2, Fall

Salamander- a magazine for poetry, fiction, and memoirs, December

Press Release
2012 Frames of Reference at Richard Levy Gallery