Wednesday, November 3, 2010

2 Shows, 1 Building. Opening Tomorrow at 111 Front St

Klompching Gallery presents Jim Naughten’s first solo exhibition in the United States, featuring photographs from Re-enactors.

In this body of work, Naughten has photographed some of the thousands of people, who step out of their daily lives to transform into historical characters from the First and Second World War.

Naughten has investigated the phenomena of re-enactment culture with a formal photographic rigour, that contributes to the role of photography in reinventing history. The portraits, themselves, are mostly three-quarter profile, from the legs up and with a stark, neutral backdrop. The striking detail of each image draws attention to the exactness of the costumes being worn and to the expressions of the subjects. Titled only with reference to nationality, unit and rank — nothing of the real lives of the individuals is revealed. The viewer is compelled to look and to wonder about who chooses to play a WWI Gunner, a US Medic or an SS Officer?

Inspired by Richard Avedon’s In The American West, Naughten has stripped away the context of the participants, heightening the sense of artifice. These flawless digital prints — that include tanks and battle scenes — chromatically echo photographs of the past, yet are undoubtedly contemporary.

Jo Ann Walters  Vanity + Consolation at Kris Graves Projects
Jo Ann Walters has been practicing photography since the early 1980's. This selection of exquisite color photographic portraits from Walters' series Vanity + Consolation were made between 1985 and the present. She has been described by seminal photographer William Eggleston as "one of the few independently original photographers working in color today.” These original color prints have never been exhibited in New York. Walters uses her small blue-collar hometown, Alton, Illinois, as her continuing inspiration. Approaching her subjects through the eyes of an insider with all of the ambiguities and contradictions this implies. Walters observes the intimate moments of the women, girls, children, and families pictured within the confines of the domestic space, Walters examines the complexities and forcefulness of inner life.

Both shows run November 4th - December 18th. Join me at the openings tomorrow evening from 6-8pm.  Click here for directions.

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