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New Work: JO WHALEY


photo-eye Gallery New Work: Jo Whaley photo-eye Gallery is thrilled to share Stage Stills, a fantastic new series by represented artist Jo Whaley.

photo-eye Gallery is thrilled to share Stage Stills a fantastic new series by represented artist Jo Whaley. Created on location at the Scottish Rite temple in Santa Fe, NM, Whaley’s latest project is equal parts fine art and documentary. Granted Access by Scottish Rite Masons, Whaley returns to her roots in painting and theatre by photographing the 76 stage backdrops on site – some dating back to as early as 1911. Remarkably, the backdrops, props and rigging have remained unchanged. Whaley instantly recognized the rarity of this theatrical collection and as she puts it, "fallen down a rabbit hole into a theatrical fantasy world still intact". We look forward to the unveiling of more images from Stage Stills, as well as the 2018 release of The Museum of New Mexico Press's book in which Whaley's photographs will be featured to document the Scottish Rite Temple and it's jewel box-theater full of rare backdrops.
In the art portfolio of images entitled Stage Stills I am responding to theatrical backdrops that were intended for masonic degree performances, but I repurpose their original intent. In my eyes they are viewed out of context and are material for fiction. I arrange the props, stage the models and design the lighting in order to create an image, much as I have done in my studio for years. The difference is that the scale is much grander and I must interact to the arcane visual references inherent in the theatrical past of the backdrops. These Stage Stills also take the viewer back stage, deconstructing the illusion that theater hopes to create and revealing the stagecraft.  Theatrical sets are always created with speed and efficiency, intending to look good only from the distance of the audience.  Up close they tend to appear crude and in the case of the Scottish Rite temple collection, showing the signs of over a century of use.  The camera captures these cracks in the illusion.  This series is still in progress. I have fallen down a rabbit hole into a theatrical fantasy world still intact.  There is more to explore.
– Jo Whaley 2016
Stage Stills (6) 2016 © Jo Whaley | Archival Pigment Print, 23x34.25", Ed. of 10, $2,000
Stage Stills (1) 2016 © Jo Whaley | Archival Pigment Print, 34x23", Ed. of 10, $2,000
Stage Stills (3) 2016 © Jo Whaley | Archival Pigment Print, 30x23", Ed. of 10, $2,000

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For more information on Stage Stills or to purchase prints, please contact the Gallery Staff at 505.988.5152 x202 or gallery@photoeye.com 

Additional images from Whaley's classic series Natura Morta are included in photo-eye Gallery's current group exhibition LOCAL EIGHT, and are on display until April 22nd, 2017. 





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