“Picture Perfect 2: Director’s Choice”
“Director’s Choice” Images from our 2nd International Juried Photo Competition
Curated by Vernita Nemec
November 27th to December 15th, 2012
Opening reception Thursday November 29th, 4-7PM
Juliette Argent . Stephanie Aust . Susan Barnett . Mimi Botscheller . Deborah Cahn . Tina Carter . Cynthia Fleury . Amanda Gahan . Ken Greene . Joshua Greenberg . Susan Evans Grove . Barbara Habenstreit . Teri Havens . Joshua Hobson . Gisa Indenbaum . Thomas Jackson . LynneJohnson . Ashley Jones . DeeDee Maguire
Chelsea NY: Viridian Artists is pleased to present “Picture Perfect: Director’s Choice”, an exhibition of photographically based art to occur November 27th to December 15th, 2012 at 548 West 28th Street, also accessible from 547 W 27th Street. There will be a reception Thursday, November 29th,4-7PM.
Although these artists/photographers were not “winners” of Viridian’s 2nd International Juried Photo Competition juried by Jennifer Blessing from the Guggenheim Museum, Vernita Nemec, Viridian’s gallery director, felt the images of these twelve photographers to be as uniquely interesting as some of those chosen by the Guggenheim Curator. Professional opinions vary widely regarding what is the “best” art, but in the end, thinking people realize it is a question of taste even in the eye of the professional.
One of Viridian’s missions is to provide meaningful exposure to under known artists. Shown in a power point presentation during the Juried exhibition last season, Viridian’s director felt these images to be worthy of their own exhibition and hence we are pleased to bring the actual works together now in this second Picture Perfect Exhibition. Each of these artists has their own personal obsession in their search for images in reality to record, capture or alter and then transform into their own reality.
Water inspires two of these photographers. For Amanda Gahan the water and sand of theFlorida beaches are important parts of her history though she now lives far away. “In “Challenge in Comfort” I attempt to find comfort in one element of my history: water. By performing everyday, mundane tasks underwater, I allow the water to surround me in its comfort, but in the same way that it comforts me, it challenges me with its suffocating, anti-gravitation aspects.”
Tina Carter grew up withNarragansett Bayin her back yard. Since then, water and the ocean are her ultimate target, particularly the unrestrained, unrefined passion of thePacific Northwestcoast. Color, her first discovery in photography makes her see the ocean, and how it speaks to the land, in vivid color. “The ocean washes color into my world.”
Culture and other creative arts inspire Mimi Botscheller and Juliette Argent.
Mimi Botscheller’s inspiration is the songs of William Blake. She is drawn to Blake through a sense that there is a thread of commonality between her own perception and Blake’s awareness of the illusions of existence. His songs inspired her to create a narrative image of a contemporary parallel universe.
Juliette Argent’s interest lies in the trans-aesthetic state of contemporary visual culture and the fusion of reality and fiction in our image saturated world. Staging a pseudo commercial photo-shoot, Argent has an archetypal female model skillfully made-up, then subjected to an extreme everyday situation causing the fragile cosmetics to disintegrate and destroy the surface illusion. She then photographs the model to highlight the absurdity of the perfected airbrushed images seen in cosmetic advertising.
A number of these photographers record Americaas it, often to emphasize the contrast to what once was. Cynthia Fleury‘s Vintage Car Graveyard is one of a series of images done in Quinn, South Dakota. The once thriving town ofQuinn was doomed to become a ghost town when Interstate 90 bypassed Quinn in favor of neighboring Wall. This lineup of vintage cars and trucks was captured on a calm cloudy day that added to the atmosphere of this nearly desolate town of 44 inhabitants not far from theBadlands.
Teri Havens’ image was taken inSlabCity, a squatters’ community located on a desolate swath of southernCalifornia’sSonoranDesert wedged between theSalton Sea and an active bombing range where she lived part-time for three years. SlabCity is a collection of fiercely independent, utterly original individuals. Cast out of, or just drifting away from, the “American Dream,” they come here seeking freedom from rules, rent, and the assaults of a society often unsympathetic to the underclass.
Barbara Habenstreit’s photo was taken at the annual Coney Island Mermaid Parade in June 2011. She spotted some religious messengers who were trying to spread God’s word to this crowd of “sinners” onMermaid Avenue but no one seemed to pay the slightest attention to them, except for her, photographing them.
“ThriftyCenter” is one image from a larger body of work by Ashley M. Jones. This collection of images attempts to accurately document the current state of a once thriving area of downtown Savannah, the MLK corridor. The artist has spent much time observing and researching this particular community, then photographing with a 4×5 large format camera to convey a sense of truth and accuracy as well as a sincere concern for that community. Thomas Jackson is interested in reflecting the mood and feeling of our era and strives to make relevant, memorable American images that make people think and invites viewers to create their own narrative.
Others in this exhibit attempt to translate their environment as a reflection of themselves. Joshua Hobson feels his image making plays many roles in his life. One is the roles is organizational, allowing him to use his photography as an exercise in compartmentalizing the world, particularly in response to a strange environment. He feels that through his photography, he “creates visual quotations of the world that (he) encounters daily and the world as (he) wishes it to be.”
DeeDee Maguire always wondered how it felt to resemble a parent or a sibling. Initially, her self-portrait photography was a means to explore identity. Eventually, the images grew to form a visual diary recording what happened and how she felt at a certain time, at a particular place in her life. This self-taught photographic journey began in 1978 and continues today.
Many of these artists are primarily concerned with the abstraction of their imagery. Deborah Cahn began with art quilts, moved on to mixed-media collage, and developed a serious interest in photography as the result of using photographs in collages. “I love abstract pattern and texture rather than representational images, so I compose my photographs to eliminate hints of the subject’s identity.”
Ken Greene, Joshua Greenberg and Lynne Johnson are intent on abstracting nature while Susan Evan Grove does the same with reflections. Ken Greene makes abstract images out of scenes that most would shoot as a fall “postcard” shot. Living in the Great Smoky Mountains with the abundance of beautiful imagery, he focuses on imagery that doesn’t seem like a nature subject at first glance, but clearly is upon further inspection. Joshua Greenberg’s photo-based abstract prints combine the elements of photography with digital processing to produce a new composition. The objective is an image with its own sense of abstraction and movement, based on and retaining elements of the original photograph, in this case, representing the color, texture, and complexity of rain-washed landscape.
During her frequent walks, hikes and skis, Lynne Johnson studies the light and shadows on and about the rocks, trees and bushes. She is especially intrigued by the discovery of things not immediately identifiable that suggest something else. On second thought, the artist felt that perhaps “Cut Log in Snow” should be titled “Bangs”.
Susan Evans Grove’s vision travels along the surface of automobiles. She takes straight shots of a reflection in a car’s exterior, sometimes from the interior of the car, names them after the make of the car they are shot from and then prints on metal to simulate the experience she had recording the image.
Stephanie Aust‘s image “Horrible Things” with its dark shadows hints at a past one wants to forget & Susan Barnett‘s series of portraits of people in t-shirts with their faces not visible conveys the essence of the person through the message on their backs.
This exhibit of photography exemplifies the potential alternatives of conveying reality whether the artist does little more than record a moment in time or searches for the extremes of their message at the edges of reality.