January 4 — February 27, 2018
Opening Reception: January 11, 6-8pm
Every photograph tells a story. When part of a body of work, the photograph takes on new meaning, becoming part of a bigger and more complete narrative. A portfolio allows the photographer to explore the complexities of their subject, and provide context that gives it richness and meaning that is more than the sum of its parts. Panopticon Gallery is pleased to announce “First Look,” our first annual Juried Portfolio Showcase.
RICHARD ALAN COHEN, Waterlines
These images begin as photographs of the waterlines painted along the hulls of boats sitting on their cradles in boatyards, awaiting their return to the sea. As a teenager, I spent the springtime scraping and painting, preparing similar boat hulls for the season ahead. I have returned to walk in boatyards, seeking the passage of years. The boats are covered, now usually shrink-wrapped to keep out the weather, but leaving the waterline and bottoms exposed. The waterline is often encrusted with the residues of the past years. Pausing to study this evidence of where the boat has been, one perceives that the waterline provides an horizon. Above and below that are details of imagined landscapes, perhaps those that could be seen from the boats themselves when they sailed on the water. In developing these images, I share my own imagination and provide the seed for each viewer to form their own remembered landscapes. This project is ultimately an exploration of the minimal elements required to form a landscape in the mind’s eye - the waterline as coastline, the texture as weather, the footprint of barnacles as stars.
MELISSA BREYER, True Stories
The work here comprises an ongoing project of photography on the sly. I’m endlessly intrigued by the beautiful mash-up of nonfiction and fiction that candid photography has to offer; the non-fiction in the fraction of a second that the photo was taken, the fiction that follows as each viewer sees the photo and creates their own story. Photography allows me to pluck out strange fleeting moments amongst the mad whorl of urban life and put them in my pocket. The images become a document of the city and a way to share how I see things, but also personal souvenirs of my journey through this curious world.
REBECCA CLARK, Seductive Deceptions
This series of photomontages transform art historical facts into photographic fiction. When photographing old master paintings, I use the camera frame to isolate and fragment, removing parts from their original context and reproducing selected facts. The photographs now liberated from the original artworks are subject to interpretation, distortion and manipulation. Elements from various paintings are woven into a constructed narrative that question and subvert the facts of the originals. The surrealistic tableaux represent historic paintings that never really existed and but illustrate stories of silent intimidation, oppression, abuse, and inner conflict that never cease to exist. My intention is to create an image that wavers between dualities: painting and photograph, reality and fiction, past and present, true and false. I hope the viewer shares my sense of eerie familiarity with the newly constructed narratives, recognizing shifting memories, fragmented dreams, and dark secrets within.
WALTER CRUMP, Machines Without a Purpose
Over the years, I have collected fading objects discarded from the mechanized world, fragments of defunct mechanisms, mangled circuit boards, worn gears and tangled rusting whackamadoos. Like Morandi who arraigned and rearranged his crockery, to create his luscious paintings, I meticulously build structures from my collection of industrial dust, often spending a week or longer to finalize a structure, only to be dismantled once photographed with pinhole cameras. I think of these transitory reconstructed structures as machines without a purpose. They invoke rusting fragments of lingering industrial metropolises, ambiguous edifices, elusive images appearing as cloudy wrecks of a dubious age, blending fiction and reality, shivery things surviving on the edge of memory.
ALYSSA SALOMON, Animal Land
Animal Land reveals and celebrates an insistent, feral beauty right here where we live within this heavily developed, densley populated section of East Coast Corridor. My intention for Animal Land is to seduce viewers to recognize and treasure surprising ecological systems thriving close at hand, vulnerable to human forces, and in urgent need of vigilant safekeeping. Animal Land willfully traffics in the Romantic sublime, that sensual experience of natural beauty intensified by awe and dread. In the 18th century, awe and dread arose with a deep perception of human smallness in the face of Nature's mighty grandeur. Think Wodsworth and his poem "Tintern Abbey." Two hundred twenty years later, we again encounter Nature with dread and awe, but today our astonishment is of our own out-of-control power. We fear for Nature's fragility; we are overwhelmed by the scope of humankind's supremacy. The otherworldy imagery of Animal Land is realized through darkroom printing, exploiting the visual vocabulary of hand-worked 19th century photographic processes combined with vagaries of low-resolution files from high-tech, night-vision digital trail cameras.