Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Steve Perille at the Light Factory

Charlotte-based photographer Steve Perille is having a major retrospective show of his work at Charlotte's Light Factory, open now through the end of January 2011.

Steve has been a major part of Charlotte's photography community for over 35 years. He moved to Charlotte to become a staff photographer for the Charlotte Observer from 1972 until 1983 and was named NC Photographer of the Year in 1975. He was a part of the first exhibit of photography mounted by The Light Factory, Charlotte's Museum for Photography and Film in 1973.

 Steve works in the documentary tradition of photography developing from Henri Cartier-Bresson's pursuit of the critical moment, so Byron Baldwin, who curated this show for The Light Factory,  speaks of Steve's "timing of gestures and expressions," his skill in capturing "fleeting, revealing moments" when "light form and content come together to form . . . timeless images."

Steve also shows the influence of Robert Frank and of street photographers like Gary Winogrand. He makes his images among ordinary working class Southerners. Traditional subjects in Southern documentary work make their appearance here, including barbershops and hair salons, stock car races, strip shows, and church meetings. Steve's work, nevertheless, has the freshness of a discerning eye and an impeccable sense of timing.

 Lots of his images have to do with automobiles and marketing, two central motifs in the life of Charlotte as a center of The New South. Charlotte is worth a trip, and the strength of these images gives us all the more reason to go. Or you can see many of the images on Steve's Flickr site, or buy them in a Blurb book, for sale here.

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