The term painterly is probably one way to describe Marco Breuer’s work because indeed these are technically photographs, not paintings. We’ve heard of photograms and cyanotypes, other processes and techniques, but Breuer’s methods are used to manipulate the emulsion and even just the photo paper itself.
We can remember Polaroid transfers and SX-70 manipulations and while these both deal with altering the emulsion or lifting it to another surface, Breuer uses some interesting tools in order to achieve his results and the emulsion is anything but a remnant photograph.
So, while we can say that Breuer’s technique is integral to his work, his work is not defined by technique (for if defined by technique alone, it would not be about art).
Some of the tools and methods used by Breuer involve razor blades, alcohol set on fire, burning coal, burning charcoal, air conditioning filters, turntables, destroyed electric frying pans, power sanders, hair, spit (yes, spit, yuck), steel wool pads, tearing, burning, slicing, ripping, creasing, wrinkling…………and probably a lot of other things. Ironic how through destruction, he arrives at beautifully rendered constructions.