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Book Of The Week I wish the world was even Photographs by Matteo Di Giovanni Reviewed by Tim Carpenter Matteo Di Giovanni travels north by car, cutting Europe vertically, through the winter. To look at the world through the eyes of Matteo means, in the first place, to be always immersed in the landscape, and to see it flowing along the sides of the road.
https://www.photoeye.com/bookstore/citation.cfm?catalog=ZH958
I wish the world was even. By Matteo Di Giovanni.
https://www.photoeye.com/bookstore/citation.cfm?catalog=ZH958
I wish the world was even
Photographs by Matteo Di Giovanni

Artphilein Editions, Switzerland, 2019.
80 pp., 10½x8¾". In English.

“Everything relies in fighting that nothingness,” Matteo Di Giovanni writes in the spare, elliptical text that accompanies the pictures in his essential book I wish the world was even. Yes, and amen. “[O]ur worst fear,” as Robert Adams told us, is “the suspicion that life may be chaos and that therefore our suffering is without meaning.”

Like all of us in our various ways, Matteo has suffered. The great achievement of this book is in the way he has used his specific suffering to make sense of the world, and that he not only shares with us the made results (the photographs), but also the actual lived experience of the sense-making itself (the book as a whole).

“Flatness,” Matteo says of his personal desire for form, “Thinking of a flat world is such a childish idea.” One sees the point: perhaps it is indeed naïve to consider our existence as manageable in any way whatsoever; to wish the world was “even,” to make it play fair just for once. And yet: Matteo does master his world – however fleetingly – in these pictures, these fragments shored against his ruins. They are somehow both miraculous and inevitable.

The front part of that Adams quote above asks: “Why is Form beautiful?” and the answer is because it helps us meet that fear of the chaos, the nothingness. I wish the world was even does just that.

Purchase Book

I wish the world was even. By Matteo Di Giovanni.

I wish the world was even. By Matteo Di Giovanni.
 
Tim Carpenter is a photographer and writer who works in Brooklyn and central Illinois. His latest book Christmas Day, Bucks Pond Road will be published by The Ice Plant in September.

photo-eye Gallery photo-eye Gallery in 3 Dimensions Introducing Sculpture by David L. DemingBy Alexandra Jo"After speaking with Deming for only a short time, I realized that he is very like his sculptures… open, humorous, cheerful, buoyant, but also made of sturdier, relatable stuff. Both artist and artwork are substantial, harmonizing a carefree disposition and a tangible, solid presence." – Alexandra Jo

David L. Deming
Whimsical, fun, lighthearted… the first impression made by David L. Deming’s large-scale metal sculptures of caricatured dogs is candid and unmistakable. The free, acrobatic, animated quality of each sculpture’s gesture is even more impressive when one realizes the density and weight of the amassed hunks of steel Deming collects and assembles to create each piece. Departing from the typical photography-only standard at photo-eye Gallery, our current exhibition, Kindred Spirits, features three of Deming's large dog sculptures. These works are physically heavy, psychologically blithe. This contrast between real-world mass and emotional weightlessness creates an engaging tension in the work when experienced in person.


David L. Deming, Dog with Bird, 
1997, Painted Steel, 84 x 29 x 16, Unique, $10,000
The artist himself is also quite the in-person experience. A natural storyteller and big personality, Deming is warm and convivial, candid and unmistakable. His jovial disposition makes perfect sense after seeing his work, as he seems to bring his sculptures to life when he is in front of them.  On the opening night of Kindred Spirits, I heard charming and interminable stories from Deming. There was one about the beginning of his teaching career when he spontaneously pretended to be a nuclear physicist instead of an artist at a faculty function, and then the time as a student at Cranbrook that he unwittingly sold a sculpture out of his studio to a well-known wealthy family in the auto industry. He told me about meeting two United States presidents, and tearing his hamstring during a touch-football game in his forties. We talked about his Italian grandmother’s immigration to an arranged marriage in the US, and he had me feel a protruding ligament in his hand that apparently, surprisingly, speaks more to his distant northern European heritage than the countless studio hours he’s spent laboring over his sculptures.

After speaking with Deming for only a short time, I realized that he is very like his sculptures… open, humorous, cheerful, buoyant, but also made of sturdier, relatable stuff. Both artist and artwork are substantial, harmonizing a carefree disposition and a tangible, solid presence. It was my pleasure to ask Deming a few questions specifically about his work in photo-eye’s current exhibition, Kindred Spirits:

David L. Deming, Josephine is a Hard Act to Follow, 1994, Painted Steel, 70 x 42 x 18 inches, Unique, $15,000

Alexandra Jo (AJ): From what I understand, you got your start in sculpture working more with the human figure. How did you first begin making sculptures of dogs? 
David Deming (DD): I started my sculpture career path mostly interested in creating life like figures specializing on busts of people.  As I matriculated through 7 years of Art School I really broadened my sculptural horizons by becoming much more devoted to abstraction as my primary direction.  Having said that, my love for the figure never faded and I just pursued both directions through the years to follow.  My first dog sculpture was somewhat of a goofy circumstance.  I responded to the Texas Fine Art Association’s call for artists and architects to donate work for their annual auction.  The theme of that year’s auction was “Time.”  Normally, I would hate to have to make something that would fit a theme that wasn’t mine to begin with, but I said OK, so I needed to make a sculpture that had something to do with “Time.” 
Like most of us artists I procrastinated until two days before I needed to submit my sculpture to the auction.  I arrived at my studio on a Saturday morning and decided that maybe if I just started welding some pipe together that I found on my floor, just maybe an idea would emerge and I would know what to make.  Well the two pipe sections that I welded together looked like the beginning of a bulldog. So that intrigued me as I spent the rest of Saturday and Sunday finishing off my metal bulldog.  As I was leaving the studio with that dog, taking it home to show my wife and kids, I thought ... now what am I going to give to the auction in the theme of “Time”?  Suddenly like a bolt of lightning, I looked down at my new creation and thought...A “watch dog” with ticks! I submitted it for auction and it sold for $5,000. After that I thought it could be a good idea to make more of those, so I did.
AJ: What is the primary difference for you between working on human portraits and works representing animals?  
DD:  The main difference in the human portraits is that if someone’s nose looks a bit like a plumbing part it is best to develop that feature so that only I know that I think your nose looks like a plumbing part.
AJ: Each sculpture seems to have it’s own personality. Is that something you have envisioned ahead of time or do the quirks of each sculpture emerge as you create them?  
David L. Deming, Hooper II, 1998, Painted Steel,
80 x 26 x 24 inches, Unique, $10,000
DD: Most of the time I start directly with the steel that I have in the studio without doing a drawing first.  I love the spontaneity of going directly to the sculptural form.  Sometimes I think about the type of dog I might pursue right from the start but often I allow the materials I have at hand dictate the direction I eventually take.  This is as exciting a process as I can have leaving a lot of creative room to develop my dog characters and personalities. 
It is interesting how making up the dogs this way and forming their faces to reflect their individual personalities is not really so far from doing my sculptural portrait work in clay. The other aspect I love about creating my dog sculptures is that they employ almost as much abstraction in how I put the pieces together as I do with my more non figurative work. 
I am always moved by people who think that they had a dog just like one of my sculpture dogs. 
Mine though are always obedient and don’t require daily attention.

 >>Kindred Spirits runs through August 24, 2019.




All prices listed were current at the time this post was published.

For more information, and to purchase artworks, please contact photo-eye Gallery Staff at:
(505) 988-5152 x 202 or gallery@photoeye.com


• • • • •

On view through August 24, 2019

Featuring work by Keith Carter, David Deming, Pentti Sammallahti, and Maggie Taylor

All prices listed were current at the time this post was published. Prices will increase as editions sell. 









Book Store Interview Empty New York Photographs and Text by Duane Michals Interview by Forrest Soper Beautifully realised and now achingly nostalgic, the photographs in Empty New York show us the city frozen in time, just as Eugène Atget, one of Michals’ heroes, commemorated Paris in the early years of the twentieth century. As much social history as photographic reportage, Duane Michals’ pictorial poem reminds us with every frame how he has earned his place among the greats of American photography.
Empty New York. By Duane Michals.
https://www.photoeye.com/bookstore/citation.cfm?catalog=ZH871
Empty New York
Photographs and Text by Duane Michals

Enitharmon Press, London, UK, 2018.
In English. 224 pp., 12x13x1¼".

The following interview took place at 12:00 PM EST on June 25th, 2019 during a phone conversation between Duane Michals and Forrest Soper. It has been edited for clarity and brevity.


Forrest Soper: I’m speaking today with Duane Michals whose most recent book Empty New York, was published in 2018. It contains over two hundred duotone images of New York City made in the 1960s. As the title suggests, most of these images lack human presence creating an empty portrait of the city that is seldom seen.

The first question that I wanted to ask you is: This body of work was one of the earliest photographic series you made. You were in your early thirties, and you had only really been working with photography for around six years. Do you recall what first inspired you to take photographs of the city in this way?

Empty New York. By Duane Michals.

  
Duane Michals: I fell in love with Atget. Don’t forget, that was a long time ago and Atget wasn’t well known at all. And every now and then I would run into one of his pictures of empty Paris, and I was just thrilled! And then I saw this wonderful documentary by a photographer named Becker called Atget (Harold Becker, Eugène Atget, 1964) It was stunning, mesmerizing, and almost like walking through a dream of Paris in 1901 or something… whatever the date. So, I decided to do an exercise on New York in the same way. I began to get up early Sunday mornings and just walk around the streets. If you photographed a bodega with one person in it, you looked at the person…and I was just looking at the environment.

I knew that wasn’t what I would be doing in my life, but it was an exercise. I did it for, I don’t know for how long… and I published a few of them. But eventually, it led me to do stories because these different places looked like stage sets, and then I thought well, if they’re stage sets, then I could ‘people them’ and make my own drama. The question was: 'how do I do that?' And the second question: 'what is my drama?'

FS: And when you first saw Atget’s work, what was it specifically about his images that captivated and inspired you?

Empty New York. By Duane Michals.

  
DM: It was the emptiness. It was like the city had been abandoned. It was usually dramatic because, in New York, we are used to traffic and cars honking and people running against the light and cellphones. And suddenly there was a beautiful, beautiful corner and it forced me to look at the corner itself. And of course, time is on the side of photography, and these photographs which were done in the 60’s it’s already a long time… '64 I believe, look how long ago that is already and they have a dated quality.

It’s like looking at old Times Square — which by today’s standards looks like downtown Peoria, Illinois — and looking at Penn Station which was stunningly beautiful. It’s a record of Penn Station. These places, they have their own existence. The city exists without us. We could all die, and the city would still be here... unless we blow it up. And it’s just quite magical. It’s theater. Of course, our lives are theater. Right now, this conversation is a little bit of theater — way, way, way off Broadway I might add — but never the less, theater and that’s what it’s about. It’s about theatricality, history, drama, and the empty street.

And every now and then you might see somebody, and there’s something kind of … they all look like ghosts. And these photographs look like ghosts too. It doesn’t exist in the same way… the way we won’t. I’m 87 and I’m not going to be around… [in] my family everybody goes at 85, 86, 87, so I’m at the cusp of ‘not being.’ I call it ‘not being,’ I think death is such a nasty word. So, I will not be. Anyway, that’s it. I’m dead.

Empty New York. By Duane Michals.

  
FS: It’s interesting. Before I started reading this book I never would have associated your work with Atget’s. But after doing some research, the parallels between your life and his are remarkably similar.

You both served time in the army before turning your attention towards art. Atget briefly studied acting at the national conservatory of music before he was expelled, and likewise, you studied graphic design at Parsons before leaving without securing a degree. And you both worked briefly in your respective fields of study before turning towards photography. And finally, the two of you drew most of your artistic inspiration, not from other photographers, but from painters.

With that in mind, when you are looking at this work, were there any painters that influenced this body of work in addition to Atget’s photographs?

Empty New York. By Duane Michals.

  
DM: Its interesting you said that because I’ve taken nothing from photography. I love photography, but my sources [of inspiration] are writers and painters — artists. I love the whimsy of Lewis Carrol. I love all of that childish fairytales. I also love… Magritte was a huge influence on me. And also, Balthus and de Chirico. I tend towards the surrealists. They don’t reproduce reality. I’m not a Stephen Shore kind of photographer. I don’t walk around photographing suburbs — which is a legitimate thing to do, and he does it well — but that’s not what I’m interested in. My work is theater. I did little dramas, I tell little stories.

You’re right in the terms that, Atget... I don’t identify with Atget, but I could tell where he came from.

FS: You mentioned this briefly before, but the majority of images in this book haven’t been published before. What made you want to re-visit these images and publish a book, some 55 years after you made them?

Empty New York. By Duane Michals.

  
DM: Because it’s been 55 years since I made them! I’m on the cusp of going away, so I wanted to get them out there. It was a wonderful body of work. If you get involved in those pictures, they are very emotional for me. They are very haunting. I find them melancholy. There’s a certain... a heavy sense of time.

The decisive moment is a wonderful thing — photography deals with time beautifully. When I see those pictures Brady took of dead Civil War soldiers at Appomattox Court House in the trenches with their bloated stomachs… You can read about the Civil War, but when you see those photographs it makes it very real. Time has always had a heavy presence in photography. The genius of photography is that [by the time] I say ‘It’s now’ it is not 'now', but it is still 'now' in that film. That picture of when I graduated from high school is still there, that moment that’s not there is… [the image is] a reminisce of that moment. It’s quite poetic and very touching in a deep way.

FS: I was wondering. When you revisited this work during the course of making this book, did you view the images in a new light? Did you see them differently from when you first made them?

Empty New York. By Duane Michals.
DM: Yes, because when I first made them I was part of them. I was in them. I was of them. Now that time has intervened, I look at them again, but I am not the same person I was when I took them in the same way that they are not the same place they were when I was walking down the street looking in the window. They are two different experiences. And there’s a beautiful melancholy about it. A sweet melancholy. It’s not a sad melancholy. It’s a sweet melancholy of what once was. I like that — ‘once was.’ Those photographs are a remanence of then.

I’m particularly touched by the Penn station ones, which I mentioned before. Because there are a couple of people in there, and if you look at the clock at like 6:42.* And you knew that was 6:42 in the morning, not 6:42 in the evening. In the evening it would have been filled with computers — computers? commuters! Words that start with ‘Com.’ (Don’t even go there.) Anyway… I should have warned you that I’m very verbal.

Empty New York. By Duane Michals.

  
FS: No, that’s great!

DM: 42 regular. Yeah.

FS: I wanted to talk to you a bit about the process of making this book and making books in general. You’ve published dozens of books over the course of your career. Books have served as a large source of inspiration for your work, be it books of Atget, of Whitman, of Cavafy.

When you’re making a book — or when you’re reading a book — what makes a book successful? What is the mark of a good book?

DM: Well, first of all, I love books.

I don’t spend money on clothes. I steal most of my clothes, I never spend money on clothes — that’s supposed to be a joke.

FS: *laughs*

Empty New York. By Duane Michals.

  
DM: If I’m going to steal them, I might as well go to a good store instead of the second-hand shit I wear… but it’s not important to me.

But, I truly love books. I prefer my work to be seen in books. I like the intimacy of books. When you pick up a book, every single sentence in that book is a thought. The writer sat down and thought that sentence and then he wrote it. If you could hear a book it would sound like a symphony. And if you’d go to a library or a bookstore, if you could hear the books it would be a cacophony of all kinds of sounds! It’s really quite beautiful.

Books are my best friend. I prefer my work to be seen in books. You know exhibits are nice and all that, but ultimately you have this book that will last way, way, way beyond the exhibit. And you could revisit the book at any time. You could go to the bathroom and sit on the toilet and read a book — yeah, I said that!

I truly love books. You read something, say by Walt Whitman or Cavafy and it was written over a hundred years ago. It’s beautiful. The idea that those words endured through wars — present wars, Hitler, and hopefully through Trump (unless they burn them. Of course, Nazis and all fascists have to burn books. They have to burn ideas.)

So, I do prefer my work to be seen in books because of the intimacy of books and the privacy.

Empty New York. By Duane Michals.

  
FS: You mention the intimacy of books. I know that you don’t print your photographs large. They’re rather small prints compared to your contemporaries. Is the reason behind that, that sense of intimacy you want to convey?

DM: Yes. I love diaries. I like anything that’s personal.

I hate those large photographs. I once said that an 8x10’ Gursky picture of a parking lot in Tokyo is just a huge parking lot. But an 8x10” Robert Frank can break your heart. So, it has nothing to do with the size of the photograph. Large photographs are only designed to get attention, to take up wall space. The most banal photograph can look good if it's big, by just the sheer size.

  
So, I tend to like small people. 5’8” and under. I love Toulouse-Lautrec and Mickey Rooney — they’re my favorites. And I like journals and diaries, so yes, I do prefer small prints.

I’m not that big myself actually.

FS: How tall are you?

DM: 5’7”. I used to be 5’8”, but now I’m 5’7”. The incredible shrinking Duane! My dad was pre-shrunk. He never got smaller. Anyway, how tall are you?

FS: I’m roughly 6’1”.

DM: Well that’s huge! Oh Rough? How rough are you?

FS: *laughs* I don’t think I’m that rough.

DM: Well you just said roughly! Rough! *makes dog noises*

FS: This book, you published it through Enitharmon Editions. Was this your first time working with them?

Empty New York. By Duane Michals.

  
DM: Let me think. I did something with them in the past, that’s how I know them but I don’t remember what it was. Oh! I did The House I Once Called Home with them.

FS: Oh! It’s interesting because that’s a body of work that I saw being directly inspired by this work, I see a lot of visual similarities.

DM: Uh-huh. Where are you from?

FS: Originally, I’m from Boulder, Colorado.

DM: I went to DU!

FS: How was that?

DM: Well it was far away — oh you didn’t say where was it. *laughs*

What happened was, I was 17. I’m from Pittsburgh and I was supposed to go to Carnegie Tech in those days. And I was trying to get a scholarship and you had to list three schools. So I listed my first two choices, and then I looked at the list of schools and they had the University of Denver and I thought ‘well that’s a long shot I’m never going to get it. Denver mountains — that must be nice.’ And amazingly I got a scholarship!

I was seventeen going on five. I was very naive and very young and very homesick. So, I have a soft spot in my heart for Colorado. Although I suspect Denver is getting much too big.

Empty New York. By Duane Michals.

  
FS: Just as New York is.

DM: Yeah. Again see, I like small cities. Anyway, I wish you weren’t 6’1” that kind of ruined the whole illusion… but I’ll get over it.

FS: I’m sorry. What would my ideal height be?

DM: 5’7” I like people my size — bite-sized.

So, then what happened? I threw you off your trolley. We were talking about Enitharmon Press.

FS: Right! How long did it take to make Empty New York? How long were you working with them on this project?

DM: I don’t know. It took a long time because I’ve only published only four or five of those pictures so there were tons of them. Over 200 to go through, make choices, and remember things about them. It was very nice because it really brought back that particular time and who I was then, and where they led me.

When you do a work, the work itself is wonderful but then the second question: 'Where does it take you? What does it open in your mind?' Work should never be an end in itself. It should always open new doors for you. It has two meanings. The original meaning and the eventual meaning.

Empty New York. By Duane Michals.

  
FS: With that in mind, I know this work is now seen as a precursor to your series, your sequences, your portraits, and your textual drawings. But going back to when you were making these photographs, what was your next step? What did you start photographing immediately after Empty New York?

DM: Oh well that led me to doing Sequences.

I always tell the story about a photograph of a barber shop. For some reason, I’m bald so I tend to photograph lots of barber shops, I guess nostalgia. But on the wall in this one barber shop was a white jacket, you know the kind that a barber puts on? And I thought: ‘Oh look! He comes in, he puts on his barber costume, and then he does his barber act!’ That was very liberating to me. Although the concept was cumulative, that was the moment when I thought: ‘Gee! Why don’t I ‘people’ this room and make my own drama?’ That was very liberating. And the next question was: ‘What’s that going to be?’ I like that idea of: ‘yeah Mr. Wise guy? So what is it? Put up or shut up.’ So that was liberating.

Then in Brooklyn, I set up a little street scene. (The bridge is over there.) I considered it a failure. But then I realized later all I had to do was animate it. Just make the people cross the street, go around the corner and disappear. It was like bringing it to life. That was a very exciting period for me because it liberated me from the tyranny of the decisive moment. I could do whatever I wanted to do. Then the question was: ‘what did I want to do?’ and then the next step to liberate me from a certain kind of photography — or to re-invent photography for myself —was to write text under it. And that was very liberating.

And now I’m making movies which is also the destination I suppose — what I’ve been doing all these years at this late date brought me to making films.

Empty New York. By Duane Michals.

  
FS: That actually was going to be one of my last questions: ‘What you are working on now?’ So, you’re making cinematic work?

DM: Yeah, what happened was, I call them mini-movies. They’re films of maybe 5, 6, 7 minutes. I don’t have any ambitions for Hollywood. But of course, if somebody offered me ten million, I’d say 'I’ll do a porno for ten million. I’d even star in it.' Anyways, I got so distracted by the porno idea that I have to get off the phone for a minute.

FS: *laughs*

DM: Now what was I thinking about? Films!

I had a great long-time friend that I spent my life with named Fred and he died two years ago of Alzheimer’s. We were together for 57 years and the last seven years he left me every day little by little as he vanished into Alzheimer’s. During that period, I was completely saturated — marinated in taking care of him. My assistant told me that we could make a film with a little camera.

So, for... I don’t know how many years now, maybe four or five years? We’ve been making these films. I suppose by now we have thirty of them. But we’re making two right now. One is called ‘Fart Art.’ It’s a movie where I sell farts of famous artists on the corner. And then we did one where I interviewed myself which is funny. And then we’re doing another one called ‘The Bird Whisperer.’ It’s about a man who does these magical and theatrical things with birds. It’s been very liberating. To me, the ultimate liberation in the work is to make these little films. It involves writing the story, and I act in a lot of them.

You should come see the movies!

Empty New York. By Duane Michals.

  
FS: I would love to!

DM: You’ll be surprised! It’ll knock your socks off! (as a starter.)

FS: Finally, is there anything else you would like to add to the readers out there? Any parting words of wisdom?

DM: Do it.

Life is very, very short. A lot of people are bullshitters. They talk, and talk, and talk. I talk a lot, but I ‘do it.’ I’m very verbal, it’s natural, it’s what I do. But people talk and never do anything. Or they make projects that are so grandiose that it couldn’t happen.

‘Oh! I have this great idea. At five in the morning, I want to flood Times Square and have five hundred white horses running through the water – splashing.’

Please. That’s never going to happen. 300 I could see, but 500 is ridiculous. But do it! Do it! Do it! Life is too short.

Now, I don’t mind getting old because I did it well. But the two things [to remember]:

Number one: Have no regrets. If I think of something I’ll do it. Although I talk a lot, I’m not a bullshitter.

Number two: Don’t be poor. Being poor in this culture when you get old is very mean to you. It’s very mean. This culture is very mean. And if you have children, there’s no guarantee that they’re going to look out for you… And don’t be rich either, but, just don’t be poor.

Purchase Book

Empty New York. By Duane Michals.


  


Duane Michals is an American photographer who creates narratives within a series of images. Born on February 18, 1932 in McKeesport, PA, Michals received his BA from the University of Denver in 1953 before starting to work as a photo journalist. Over the course of his career, he has taken portraits of influential artists such as Andy Warhol, René Magritte, and Marcel Duchamp, often marking his prints with poetic writings and observations about his subject. He currently lives and works in New York, NY. The artist's works are included in the collections of the Art Institute of Chicago, The Museum of Modern Art in New York, and the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh, among others.

Forrest Soper is an artist and photographer currently based out of Rochester, New York. A graduate student at the George Eastman Museum and The University of Rochester, Forrest has worked as the editor of photo-eye Blog and as a photochemical lab technician at Bostick & Sullivan. forrestsoper.com

*The clock in the photograph mentioned reads 6:55 rather than 6:42.

photo-eye Gallery Kindred Spirits Artist Spotlight: Keith Carter Keith Carter featured in photo-eye Gallery's current exhibition.By Alexandra Jo"Carter’s work has an impressive range in approach and subject matter for a fifty-year practice that looks and feels exceptionally cohesive. He creates captivating images that always manage to straddle the line between real and surreal, light and dark, ethereal and corporeal." – Alexandra Jo
By Alexandra Jo

Keith Carter, Image: Sam Keith, 2013

My very first thought when looking at Keith Carter’s work was “This is an artist that really sees things.” And I wasn’t wrong. Carter’s eye for subject matter, contrast, drama, mood, and the perfect use of selective focus is unparalleled. However, there is far more than a technically excellent, visually striking display of artistic skill at work in his photographs (though that is unmistakably present). After spending considerable time over the past two weeks with a selection of Carter’s work included in photo-eye’s current exhibition, Kindred Spirits, it is clear to me that Keith Carter is also an artist that really feels things. 

Carter’s work has an impressive range in approach and subject matter for a fifty-year practice that looks and feels exceptionally cohesive. He creates captivating images that always manage to straddle the line between real and surreal, light and dark, ethereal and corporeal. Carter’s Instagram account, @keithcarter.art, provides a wonderful, personal window into the work. Each photograph that he posts offers a small insight into where the image was taken, who or what the subject is, and Carter’s personal thoughts on/feelings about each. He has recently posted two new works that are currently featured in Kindred Spirits, on view at photo-eye Gallery through August 24:

Keith Carter, Only a Little Planet, 2019, Archival Pigment Print, 16 x 16 inches, Edition of 25, $1,600 Unframed.

Carter's Instagram states: "Only a Little Planet, 2019: Finless porpoises frolicking near Miyajima, Japan. The poet Robinson Jeffers called it 'high superfluousness'. Beautiful thing."



Keith Carter, Japanese Wisteria, 2019, Archival Pigment Print, 16 x 16 inches, Edition of 25, $1,600 Unframed

Carter's Instagram states: "Japanese Wisteria, 2019: My colleague George Nobechi & I are traveling over the southern mountains of Japan near Takachiho, in the Valley of the Gods. Wisteria, Dalmatians, Oranges, People everywhere...bless ‘em all"


In Carter’s specific case, it would seem that the conceptual perspective and feeling behind a photograph work in tandem with his artistic vision and precise craftsmanship to capture and transform his subjects. For me, it is a consistent tenderness of vision and an unbridled capacity for emotion that connects each of Carter’s images across many years, multiple photographic processes, and a myriad of conceptual avenues.

Kindred Spirits runs through August 24, 2019.






All prices listed were current at the time this post was published. Prices will increase as editions sell.

For more information, and to purchase artworks, please contact photo-eye Gallery Staff at:
(505) 988-5152 x 202 or gallery@photoeye.com


• • • • •

On view through August 24, 2019

Featuring work by Keith Carter, David Deming, Pentti Sammallahti, and Maggie Taylor

All prices listed were current at the time this post was published.








Book Of The Week Vientre Photographs and Text by Nadia del Pozo Reviewed by Janelle Lynch Vientre (2013-2018) explores the links and contrasts between beauty and cruelty, between desire and the many facets of appetite in the context of our relationships with animals, with our families, with the earth and with memory.
https://www.photoeye.com/bookstore/citation.cfm?catalog=ZH808
Vientre. By Nadia del Pozo.
https://www.photoeye.com/bookstore/citation.cfm?catalog=ZH808
Vientre
Photographs and text by Nadia del Pozo

Published by Nadia Del Pozo and Inframundo, 2018.
124 pp., 49 color photographs. In English and Spanish.

The abstract textured cloth cover image detail of Vientre, Nadia del Pozo’s recent book of photographs and writings, provides a clue about how del Pozo approached the photographs inside—with intimacy and keen sensory perception. For six years, the Spanish artist traveled to photograph in La Mixteca, a region that occupies the western half of the Mexican state of Oaxaca, as well as small parts of Guerrero and Puebla, states on Oaxaca’s northern and western borders.

She was on a quest to discover the connections and contrasts between cruelty and beauty in relation to memory, the familiar, and the land. She explored them, as Wendell Berry describes the pilgrimage of the photographic artist in his essay, “The Unforeseen Wilderness,” with no demands, “along ways he does not fully understand, in search of what he does not expect and cannot anticipate.” The result is 49 color photographs that construct a visual portrait of a place and evoke scents—blood, dirt; sounds—animals’ cries, blades severing bones; and flavors of flesh.

The vision of the ghost town in Pedro Páramo, Mexican author Juan Rulfo’s novel, pervades as I look at these images—not apparitions of deceased Mixtecs, rather the goats from which they fed. But the photographs came secondary—years after an essay, also included in the book, about her ambivalence since she was a child about her relationship to animals and their life cycle. She writes, “The most disturbed part of me took comfort in having seen a small child cry inconsolably while those beings that had grazed these fields in prior months were turned into pink pulp.” The essay is reproduced in Spanish and English on paper reminiscent of that which wrapped the meats of my own childhood, or the meat itself.

Vientre means guts, belly or bowels, which is what del Pozo primarily shows us. And they are absolutely beautiful. A double page spread shows organic forms in various hues of red and violet against a gray textured background. A vertical image captures white geometric forms, something so wondrous, harmonious, and varied, like a honeycomb, that it must be organic in nature. Another vertical shows blood and a broom against textured soil recalling the life-and-death urgency of Ana Mendieta’s images and Frida Kahlo’s paintings.

Some photographs are quieter, like the one of a man’s soiled bare feet that have possibly just walked across the aforementioned terrain, or the one of a woman’s foot bathing in the river, the pattern of the dress she wears compliments those seen in the water. There is a lighter, even celebratory, spirit there. The day’s work is done. The family has been fed.

While innards and fluids prevail, del Pozo also shows us the landscape of the place where she and the animals roamed; the silhouette of a man in his sombrero at dusk; and that of a hand with a finger wrapped in fur. The images are made, again as Berry urges, through “the practice of observation,” free of judgment. Instead, they are imbued with a sense of reverence—for tradition, the Mixtecs, and, above all, the animals who nourish them.

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Janelle Lynch is a large-format photographer in New York City. Her new work, Another Way of Looking at Love, published by Radius Books in 2018, is shortlisted for the 2019 Prix Pictet: Hope.

www.janellelynch.net@janelle__lynch

Photograph by Forrest Simmons@forrest_simmons

photo-eye Gallery Opening Friday, June 24
Kindred Spirits
Opening Reception: 5–7pm photo-eye Gallery’s newest exhibition Kindred Spirits invites viewers to explore our relationships with a plethora of creatures through the work of four artists: Keith Carter, David L. Deming, Pentti Sammallahti, and Maggie Taylor.


Opening and Artist Reception: Friday, June 28, 5–7 pm

Animals and humans have a storied coexistence. From the ineffable comfort of their companionship in our homes to our observations of their majestic presence in the wild, animals have assisted and inspired us for centuries. Though sometimes complicated, there is no doubt that our connection to animals enriches human life in a multitude of ways. photo-eye Gallery’s newest exhibition, Kindred Spirits, invites viewers to explore our relationships with a plethora of creatures through the work of four artists: Keith Carter, David L. Deming, Pentti Sammallahti, and Maggie Taylor. Kindred Spirits opens at photo-eye Gallery Friday, June 28, 2019, with a reception 5–7 pm corresponding with the Last Friday Art Walk in Santa Fe's Railyard Arts District.


Kindred Spirits Installation Images

Photographs by Maggie Taylor installed at photo-eye Gallery for Kindred Spirits.
Hooper II, 1998, sculpture by David L. Deming installed for Kindred Spirits.
North Wall, Prints by Keith Carter and Pentti Sammallahti Installed at photo-eye Gallery for Kindred Spirits.
West Wall, Prints by Keith Carter and Pentti Sammallahti Installed at photo-eye Gallery for Kindred Spirits.
South Wall, Prints by Keith Carter and Pentti Sammallahti Installed at photo-eye Gallery for Kindred Spirits.
Dog with Bird, 1997, Sculpture by David L. Deming installed at photo-eye Gallery for Kindred Spirits.


For more information, and to purchase artworks, please contact photo-eye Gallery Staff at:
(505) 988-5152 x 202 or gallery@photoeye.com






photo-eye Gallery Kindred Spirits: The Familiar and the Wild Opening Friday, June 28 at photo-eye Gallery Artist Reception from 5–7pmphoto-eye Gallery is thrilled to announce Kindred Spirits: The Familiar and the Wild, featuring a selection of photographs by Keith Carter, Pentti Sammallahti, and Maggie Taylor, and sculptures by David Deming. As humans, we are part of a vast, interconnected system that ineffably bonds us to the rest of Earth’s creatures.


ANNOUNCING

Kindred Spirits: The Familiar and the Wild 
Featuring Keith Carter, David L. Deming, Pentti Sammallahti, and Maggie Taylor

Opening & Artist Reception: Friday, June 28, 5-7 PM

On View: June 28- August 24, 2019


ABOUT THE EXHIBITION

photo-eye Gallery is thrilled to announce Kindred Spirits: The Familiar and the Wild, featuring a selection of photographs by Keith Carter, Pentti Sammallahti, and Maggie Taylor, and sculptures by David L. Deming. As humans, we are part of a vast, interconnected system that ineffably bonds us to the rest of Earth’s creatures. We share our space with a plethora of beings, and the roots of our inter-species relationships run deep. Indeed, animals have been at the heart of human existence for thousands of years as protection, inspiration, assistance, spiritual guidance, and companionship. These works invite viewers to examine the nuanced ways in which we relate to and connect with the animals that surround us every day. Kindred Spirits will open Friday, June 28, 2019, with a reception held from 5-7pm corresponding with the Last Friday Art Walk in the Railyard Arts District.

ABOUT THE ARTWORK

Keith Carter, Black and White, 1997, Toned Gelatin-Silver Print, 15x15" Image, Edition of 50, $4000
Keith Carter’s photographs are simultaneously ethereal and corporeal. His high-contrast black-and-white style seeks to surpass straightforward portraiture and dive headlong into the mythological. Carter’s east Texas roots have greatly influenced his penchant for creating extraordinary photographs from encounters with everyday objects, people, and animals. His poetic and enigmatic style of visual storytelling looks, as he says, “around the edges for those little askew moments” that make up our lives.

David L. Deming, Josephine is a Hard Act to Follow, 1994, Painted Steel Sculpture, 70 x 42 x 18 inches, $15,000
David L. Deming’s world of lively canine sculptures captures the artist’s love for dogs and presents a whimsical look at four-legged behavior at its best. His extensive and unique collection of painted steel and lacquered steel dog sculptures, which range in scale from 56 inches to eight feet tall, are assembled using steel pipe, vintage hand tools, sheet metal, and other material that the artist has skillfully welded together, creating life-like depictions of memorable pets in rather human-like scenarios.

Pentti Sammallahti, Transylvania, Romania, 2015, Toned Gelatin-Silver Print, 8.5x6.3" Image, $1300
Finnish photographer Pentti Sammallahti depicts nature, eroded and broken down by civilization, but does not put people and the environment in opposite camps. He sees an equal relationship, in which the power stemming from the environment frees us from alienation and cosmic loneliness. His atmospheric, black-and-white photographs highlight the complexities that exist between humans, animals, and the places in which we share space.

Maggie Taylor, Golden Hour, 2019, Archival Pigment Print, 8x8" Image, Edition of 15, $1500
Maggie Taylor’s process involves scanning and photographing plants, animals, illustrations, old photographs, and found objects to create enigmatic narrative scenes. Her photomontage works are fantastical, surreal, and open up to a multitude of interpretations. Each of her photographs is a carefully composed combination of many different images, collected from a variety of sources. She creates collaged digital artwork that transports viewers into dreamlike worlds inhabited by everyday objects.

ABOUT THE ARTISTS 

Keith Carter, Image: Sam Keith, 2013
Born in Madison, WI, Keith Carter is a contemporary American photographer now based in Beaumont, Texas. Carter uses many techniques and approaches to conceptually portray his statements as a photographer, including silver gelatin, wet plate collodion, photograms, and pigment prints. His acclaimed work in photography has led to over a hundred solo shows across 13 countries. His work is in a number of private and museum photography collections including the Art Institute of Chicago, George Eastman House, J. Paul Getty Museum, MFA Houston, and SFMoMA.

David L. Deming with his
sculpture of Ricky Williams

David L. Deming has enjoyed a successful career as a sculptor, teacher, and arts administrator. He has exhibited his sculpture in over 100 competitive and invitational exhibitions nationally and internationally with over 50 solo and two-person exhibitions. His sculpture is in over 100 public and private collections including The Columbus Museum of Art, The Arkansas Art Center, and the San Antonio Museum of Art.




Pentti Sammallahti
Pentti Sammallahti was born in Helsinki, Finland, and made his first photograph at age 11. He has spent most of his career as a photographer traveling widely from Europe to Siberia, Japan, India, Nepal, Turkey, and South Africa. Since 1979, he has published 13 books and portfolios and has received awards such as the Samuli Paulaharju Prize of the Finnish Literature Society and the Uusimaa Province Art Prize. Sammallahti’s work can be found in museum collections including the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles; Victoria & Albert Museum, London; Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Moderna Museet / Fotografiska Museet, Stockholm; and the Finnish State Collections and the Photographic Museum of Finland.



Maggie Taylor
Maggie Taylor is an American artist, born in Cleveland, OH. She won the Santa Fe Center for Photography's Project Competition in 2004. As a pioneer in the field of digital arts, her work has been widely exhibited in the United States and Europe and is represented within the permanent collections of several galleries and museums. Finding inspiration in 19th-century photographs, taxidermy specimens, mounted insects, vintage toys, seashells, feathers, and other artifacts she finds at flea markets, online auctions, and in her own backyard, Taylor creates surreal pigmented digital prints that call to mind tintype photographs from another world.




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For more information, and to purchase prints, please contact 
Gallery Staff at 505-988-5152 x202 or gallery@photoeye.com.

All prices listed were current at the time this post was published. Prices will increase as editions sell

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