Zee, Allan Bruce

Community: Port Townsend
Phone: 360-379-1255
Email: allan@allanbrucezee.com
Website: www.allanbrucezee.com
Media: photography

Past exhibits and events with Northwind

2017 Showcase artist (click to see all 2017 artists) | 2016 Showcase artist

Artist Statement

I’m very excited about my new Mandala series that I started photographing during our winter stay in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico last year. I discovered upon visiting their beautiful churches, that each had a chandelier hanging from the center of the cúpula over the transept in front of the altar. When I positioned myself directly under the light fixture, I was able to perceive the perfect kaleidoscopic patterning created by the chandeliers and the surfaces in the domes. The word mandala immediately came to mind.

My earliest memory goes back to when I was just 18 months old. I remember my brother lifting me up to our living room window to see a magnificent rainbow over Lake Michigan. I believe that at that moment, I was imprinted with a passion for color. In my photographic work over the years, I have enjoyed the challenge of finding “completed canvases” hidden within our day-to-day experience. Typically, we are bombarded by a multitude of color. I find that I am attracted to simpler color palettes. As a result, many of my images have a more painterly than photographic feel.

I try to accentuate the emotional impact of color and a simplicity of composition to invite the viewer to attend to deeper layers of meaning in the photograph. My goal is to “liberate” rather than “capture” the moment.

My work represents a broad range of imagery, mostly because there is a lot to which my eyes respond. While the subject matter is diverse, the painterly feel creates a stylistic unity. I can unabashedly say that I have no fear of beauty and look for it everywhere.


Allan Bruce Zee has been exploring the art of photography since 1969. Happily residing in Port Townsend for the past 7 years after 30 years in Portland, Oregon, Allan was born in Chicago, Illinois, where his first artwork was exhibited at the age of 12 at the Art Institute of Chicago. After graduating from college, he purchased a Pentax Spotmatic 35mm camera to take with him to Europe. It is the camera he still uses for all of his photographs. Returning to the States with his 3x5 snapshots, he was given his first show at a gallery in Philadelphia where he was attending medical school.

Leaving medical school to pursue a career as a psychotherapist, Allan continued to exhibit his photographs in Chicago and throughout the Midwest. In 1974, he left the mental health field to devote full time to his career as a fine art photographer. From 1984 to 2004 he enjoyed printing all of his photographs in the darkroom, interpreting the slide to create the most expressive print possible. In 2004, he began to make the transition to producing his prints from digital scans of his slides, which can afford even more interpretive freedom while maintaining the same high quality.

Over the past 42 years, his prints have been shown in galleries and exhibit spaces in 14 cities nationwide and are included in numerous private, public and corporate collections around the world including Ansel Adams’ collection at the Center for Creative Photography in Arizona, World Bank, Apple Computer, Intel and University of Washington Hospitals, and the public collections of the State of Oregon and City of Portland among many other collections. His imagery emerges from travels throughout the United States, Europe, Mexico, Japan, Bali, Tahiti, and South Africa.

Comments are closed.