VIEW FIND: PHOTOGRAPHY AT THE PAGE BOND GALLERY FRIDAY, JANUARY 23, 2015.
The Page Bond Gallery is pleased to present View Find: Photography featuring work by Elijah Gowin, David Halliday, Cynthia Henebry, Shaun Irving, Sally Mann, Amanda Means, Andrew Myers, Mariëtte Roodenburg, Gordon Stettinius, and William Wylie Friday, January 23, 2015 from 6 to 8 PM. The exhibition will run January 23 to February 28, 2015.
Photographer Shaun Irving has converted an old mail truck into a giant pinhole camera capable of creating 6-foot negatives filled with extraordinary detail. He has toured with the truck in Spain and Virginia, and will exhibit work from both series. Irving’s Cameratruck is the simplest, most ancient form of camera, and while the long process for each shot allows him to become intimately familiar with his subject, “a few surprises always pop up in the final print.” The level of detail is so high in Irving’s work that individual stones are visible on the Royal Palace of Aranjuez, Spain, and tombstones can be read in Hollywood Cemetery, Richmond. Because the process is extremely physical (Irving’s developing rig consists of two buckets, a sponge and a garden hose), large areas of some prints have become overdeveloped, and the artist’s sponge marks are visible, as if we are viewing the image through a partially cleaned windshield, crystal clear in some spots and hazy in others. Process and content have equal weight in his photographs, and each photograph is a unique artifact of this primitive, wonderful technology.
Amanda Means’ photography often explores the duality of nature and industry. The dramatic black and white images in her botanical series are made without camera or negative, by placing objects directly onto light-sensitive paper in the tradition of early photographic processes like the cyanotype and photogram. Raised in rural upstate New York, Means moved to Manhattan early in her career. While much of her work reflected the densely populated built environment of the city, she often drove to the woods to stay connected to her country roots. She explains, “Moving to the largely man-made urban environment of New York City intensified my sense of loss of nature. I became acutely aware of the growing fragility of the natural world – animals, plants, the atmosphere, entire ecosystems were threatened. My photographs of leaves are a metaphor of this sense of loss.” Struck by the effect of sunlight shining through a leaf, she describes what compelled her to put it directly into her enlarger: “…I felt more like I was on the inside of things, rather than just looking from the outside. I was seeing the light as it came right through, and all those details that were on the inside [of the leaf] would get exposed onto the photo paper. It’s a very immediate process, because I project right onto the paper.” The charming simplicity of the concept contrasts with the intricate cracks, the delicate network of veins, and the striking negative and positive shapes created by the process.
Andrew B. Myers is a Canadian photographer who uses his camera to create small-scale narratives and understated visual puns. His photographs often present meticulously arranged still lifes incorporating vintage kitsch such as Legos, toy cars, or board game pieces. His work has a distinctly graphic style, incorporating colorful backdrops and flirting with scale in a way that makes it appear digitally created. Myers’ combinations of titles and images show an intelligent, tongue-in-cheek humor and visual interpretations of puns, as in “Steady Decline,” an image of VHS tapes about to be tipped over like dominos, or “Iron Deficiency,” in which a man’s torso displays a heavily wrinkled shirt. Each of his works precisely and efficiently illustrates a shared cultural phrase or concept, with brilliantly funny results.