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Photographer's Showcase: Cig Harvey - You Look At Me Like An Emergency

We are excited to introduce a new selection of images from longtime Photographer's Showcase artist Cig Harvey.
White Witch Moth -- Cig Harvey
This new collection of images is made up of photographs featured in her first book from Schilt Publishing, You Look At Me Like An Emergency that topped photo-eye's bestseller's list twice and has been on the list for a total of six weeks. The Photographer's Showcase portfolio collects images from nearly 10 years of Harvey's photographic career, spanning her well-known self-portraits and recent work photographed in and around her home in Maine. Whether photographing herself or another, Harvey's vibrant and visually stunning images connect to a world that isn't foreign enough to feel unreal, but is different enough from the every day to feel slightly magical.

Devin and The Fireflies, 2010 and The Cherries, 2007 -- Cig Harvey
"I’ve always been drawn to personal work in art, music and literature as a device to tap into the universal. My work reflects, either indirectly or directly, what I am concerned with at that time but it’s always the human spirit that fascinates me. I initially used myself as the subject when I was creating work about the past, but the pictures were never really specifically about me, rather the universal emotion I was trying to explore. A shift happened in 2005 when I started to make work about the present. I no longer needed to be in the images, I just needed to have my camera in hand and look at the world around me. I gravitate towards magical realism in photography. Trying to seek out an image that causes a visual jolt, it’s a form of escapism and creates a balance or edited mirror on reality. I search for locations, light, and weather that will isolate and provide a stage for the gaze or gesture of the subject. I’ve always been interested by what is timeless in a portrait. I photograph the people I am surrounded by, so that I can recognize the moment when I don’t know them; in that frame, our relationship is somehow compromised and the familiar becomes foreign." -- Cig Harvey from the photo-eye Blog interview on You Look At Me Like An Emergency
The Hope Chest, 2007 and Doug and Harriet, 2010 -- Cig Harvey
Capturing that moment between the familiar and the foreign is what allows Harvey's images to coexist as universal and personal. Even the photographs in which she appears are never entirely self-portraits -- her form is there to fill a role, but the identity of her character is unimportant. Harvey's photographs extend further outward, the introspective and emotive scenes seem quietly allegorical, and ultimately, relatable. In book form, the work becomes more personal:
"Through words and pictures Harvey has recorded an imaginative epic of unknowing, discovery, and deepening; she reveals herself, in all her complications and anecdotal delight, as a person coming to grips with that significant other who does, now and then, regard her as amiably odd, perhaps even needful of loving care. Readers of the book may feel the same way." -- George Slade from his review of You Look At Me Like An Emergency


For more information on Cig Harvey's work, please contact Anne Kelly at photo-eye Gallery by email or by calling the gallery at (505) 988-5152 x202

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