Wednesday, June 27, 2007
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
Monday, June 25, 2007
Friday, June 22, 2007
Monday, June 18, 2007
Friday, June 15, 2007
In recent work, Ben Gest photographs individuals in private and pensive moments. At first glance, the pictures have considerable emotional power.
Ben Gest, Kate Fixing Her Earring, 2005
On closer examination, though, it becomes apparent that there is something spatially amiss here. In fact, we are told, Gest has photographed his figures from multiple points of view, and combined those views by digital means.
Why? Who knows. Perhaps to emulate painting's historic rejection of single-point perspective. (If so, he's about 100 years late.)
J.-A. Ingres, Madame de Haussonville, 1851
For me, the distortion in these photographs is most strongly reminiscent not of Braque or Picasso but of certain paintings by Ingres. Ingres's distortion, however, is generally understood to have been the product of his own rather strange sensuality. Gest's intent is less clear.
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
Monday, June 11, 2007
Friday, June 08, 2007
Wednesday, June 06, 2007
Mark Ruwedel is that rare photographer who works seriously in both black and white and color.
Mark Ruwedel, Antelope Valley # 7, 2005
What interests me about him is how much better he is in color.
Mark Ruwedel, Coachella Valley # 1, 2004
Coachella Valley No. 1, though every bit as bleak, has a unity and naturalness that eludes Antelope Valley No. 7. (And if you have a copy of the current Blindspot, compare Ruwedel's black and white work with the color photograph in the advertisement for Gallery Luisotti, his dealer. The difference is striking.)
So there's another thing color's good for: working against the apparent intent of a photograph, in this case countering desolation with delicacy.