Friday, July 20, 2012

What Other Folks are Doing

The summer is always a good time to get out and about to see what other folks are doing.

In that spirit, it may be worth noticing that the Higher Pictures Gallery, at 980 Madison Avenue, in Manhattan, had a group show up earlier this summer called Photography Is.

This show, featuring the work of twenty photographers, caught the attention of an arts reviewer for the New Yorker, always a good guide to what is happening in the arts in New York City.

One of these photographers is Aspen Mays, whose image Untitled (Fireflies inside the body of my camera, 8:37 - 8:39 PM, June 26) is above.

Also included were four 4x6 inch polaroid images by  Katherine Hubbared, including this one, Untitled (2012).

The reviewer says this show was a good example of the "savvy, of-the-moment survey shows" for which this reviewer says the Higher Pictures Gallery is well known.

The folks at Higher Pictures Gallery seem to have mastered the marketing of the "savvy," since this show inaugurated their move to "new, larger digs."

The New Yorker reviewer says the work on offer "emphasizes experimentation, manipulation, humor, and surprise,"
such as Matthew Stone's Nouvel Routes to Ecstasy, below.

 Or this one, by Joshua Citarella, Hourglass and Apples and Oranges (2011):

This show has few examples of what the reviewer thinks of as "straight" photography, but lots of "mixed media mash-ups," including Sarah Anne Johnson's Triangle (2011), below:

Work here makes "categories like abstraction and representation seem hopelessly passé," leaving "such definitions wide open."

Including, presumably, work like John Houck's Untitled, #21, 65,535 combinations of a 2x2 grid, 16 colors (2012), which certainly stretches my understanding of why one would choose the medium of photography to represent an image.

 "The medium," concludes the reviewer, "has never been quite so willing to embrace change; judging by the work here, this is a position of strength."

Happily, though the real show has come down in Manhattan, the virtual show is still up, and you can check out all the work from this show, inf you choose, on Higher Pictures Gallery's website.

 Photographers on offer here include Sam Falls, Lucas Blalock, K8 Hardy (clever lass!), Talia Chetrit, Jessica Eaton, Andrea Longacre White, Aspen Mays, Letha Wilson, Emily Roysdon, Adam Marnie, Matthew Brandt, Joshua Citarella, Matthew Stone, Sarah Anne Johnson, Katherine Hubbard, John Houck, Artie Vierkant, Iliana Ortega, Anouk Kruithof, and MPA Megan Palaima.

These folks are, as I like to say, Not from Around Here, but your thoughts on this work are welcomed.

1 comment:

  1. Well, I think photography right now does not really know what it is and is trying to define itself. When I got my first digital camera, a Sony Cybershot, about six years ago, I went right out and started taking photographs. Downloading them to the computer and printing some of them, I realized that now any idiot could truly take a good picture. With a manual 35 mm camera, a 50 mm Zeiss lens, and high speed b&w film as my main photographic tools, I had to struggle mightily to properly focus [I wear glasses] expose, develop and enlarge my film and make 'fine prints.' Now, I mostly use my digital cameras and love the whole process, but with the understanding that, as far as I am concerned, digital is a construct. That is, the software engineers and other folks who make the digital cameras and all that goes with them, are doing so in order to mimic film cameras and enlargements. At least that was the starting point. They could just as well produce 'cameras' that record what is in front of them. From Christian Harkness at