Saturday, March 12, 2011

Herman Mhire at the Martine Chaisson Gallery in New Orleans

There is an intriguing show of work by Lafayette, LA-based photographer Herman Mhire called Altered States up at the Martine Chaisson Gallery at 727 Camp Street in New Orleans, through April 23rd, 2011.

This show presents an extended series of surreal large format portraits of Louisiana artists in which Mhire carries out extensive manipulations of the images to explore ideas of portraiture, the photographic medium, and psychology.  Images from this show can be found here.

Mnire says he sets out in this work to "transform photographic portraits into provocative and often disturbing hyperfaces that invite the viewer to search for clues about the altered states of my fictional characters.”

Mhire got to know the artists whose images for the basis of these manipulated portraits through his work as the Distinguished Professor of Visual Arts in the College of the Arts and Director/Chief Curator of the Paul and Lulu Hilliard University Art Museum at the University of Louisiana, in Lafayette.

There is a review of this show here.  Mhire has shown this work earlier at the Acadiana Center for the Arts and Galerie Eclaireuse in Lafayette, LA.

Although I tend not to be a big fan of obvious digital manipulation, these images are so outrageously manipulated that they are visually compelling and well worth thoughtful attention.

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