FOTOFOCUS 2014 “Shedding Light”
Clifton Cultural Art Center Oct 4th through Nov 5th
The mushrooming phenomenon of phone and pad picture making has been undeniably outstripping the traditional handheld point and shoot camera as evidenced by the millions of images uploaded to social media and the documented downturn in sales of traditional camera equipment.
One might enjoy viewing “Shedding Light”, an interesting series of images curated by Jens Rosencrantz Tad Barney and Brad Smith as part of FotoFocus.
The curators have selected 60 images from around the world, whose contributors are experimenting with new app technology on their iPhones and iPads. Hipstamatic (trademark) and Oggl apps installed on smartphones allow the user to preselect the type of ‘film’ and the lens used before the shot is taken instead of applying the filters post edit as is traditional.
With the exception of the singular image of a big nosed Labrador, few pet images are included in the show. The uniformly sized images in two galleries are grouped in themes such as panoramic nature, intimate nature, abstract, figurative and narrative.
Cincinnatian Philip Compton’s piece, “Jump”, is possibly the only image in the show composed by overlaying successively shot action images. Young boys cavorting on the beach are leaping into the warm sun and enjoying the tide at the water’s edge. Compton also uses this contrast of size and action in another image of gulls on the beach. His work “A wall remembers” is haunting and engaging as a textural composition.
A work entitled “Water Lily” by Ted Barney compares the floating head of a young girl as a metaphor of the delicate aqueous life of the water lily. I found the image reminiscent of the ‘Eleanor’ series by Harry Callahan which explores the forms of a mature woman merging with nature. The image is suggestive of the deep and eternal nature of the female in the youthful innocence of the child.
“Just the Beginning” by Melissa T. Hall captures a young girl’s portrait in a delicate moment with all the stillness and classic serenity of a Bellini portrait.
“Wet Dreams” by Nicola Casamassima of Italy is a very contemporary concept beautiful in its simplicity. This image juxtaposes fragments of Italian architecture with the darkly abstracted facial features of a girl seen through mist shrouded glass.
The power and majesty of Nature is explored in full color and black and white by several contributors. A full color sunset erupts in “From Shore to Ship”, a tumultuously dashing seascape by Alon Goldsmith. The photograph contrasts nicely with the delicately colored “Moledo Beach II”, a beach possibly undisturbed since prehistoric times, but visited by Adelino Marques in Portugal. Radha Lakshmi captures the effect of florescent mist in the hollow in her B/W shot “Pikeville, Kentucky”.
“Pending the Storm” by Therese Cherton of Belgium portrays all the power of whipping wind as it blows a field of wheat under a darkening shelf cloud.
A full color abstract is all that remains of a single insect eaten leaf. Entitled “Leaf Lace” by Nancy Willman, this work exemplifies the wonder and beauty to be discovered in the intimacy of nature abstracted.
Exhibition continues through Nov. 5th