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Gallery Favorites Part 1: Three Works We Love from Kindred Spirits


photo-eye Gallery Kindred Spirits: Gallery Favorites Part 1 Three Works We Love from Kindred SpiritsGiven the scope of our Kindred Spirits exhibition, we're breaking our usual Gallery Favorites post into two parts. This week, photo-eye Gallery’s staff members have had the pleasure of writing about which pieces in this exhibition they individually relate to or find uniquely compelling.


Humans relate to animals in ways that are as varied and unique as we are. photo-eye Gallery’s current exhibition, Kindred Spirits, contains a range of artworks that speak to the multitudinous ways in which humans and animals connect. From the tangible reality of Pentti Sammallahti’s captured moments, to the  Keith Carter’s transformation of the everyday, to the magic realism of Maggie Taylor’s photomontage, to David L. Deming's playful canine constructions this exhibition is diverse in its presentation of subject and spirit. There is something here for everyone. Given the scope of our Kindred Spirits exhibition, we're breaking our usual Gallery Favorites post into two parts. This week, photo-eye Gallery’s staff members have had the pleasure of writing about which pieces in this exhibition they individually relate to or find uniquely compelling.



Anne Kelly Selects Maggie Taylor's The alchemist's chamber, 2019

Maggie Taylor – The alchemist's chamber, 2019, Archival Pigment Print, 15x15" Image, Edition of 15, $2800

Anne Kelly
Gallery Director
(505) 988-5152 x121
The work I am selecting for the first part of our Kindred Spirits Gallery Favorites post is Maggie Taylor’s lush and colorful image, The alchemist’s chamber. I find this image to be completely captivating. The alchemist's chamber could be a photorealistic oil painting from the Dutch Golden Age – a simple, but perfectly arranged composition with raking light streaming through a cathedral-like window, perhaps the first or last light of the day. When I first viewed this image I was delighted to discover a goldfish floating in what appears to be a vintage cocktail glass, yet on further inspection, came to learn that the fish is actually not a fish at all, but rather a cleverly composed arrangement of orange flower petals. Evidence of alchemy. Perhaps all the flowers in the vase will transform into moths, maybe or they were moths to begin with. In this image, anything is possible.





Alexandra Jo Selects Pentti Sammallahati's, Untitled, 2005

Pentti Sammallahti – Untitled, 2005, Gelatin-Silver Print, 7x6", Image, $1300


Alexandra Jo
Gallery Assistant
(505) 988-5152 x116
I have always felt connected to animals in some deep, intuitive, vital way.  My little sister and I spent a large portion of our childhood playing with the menagerie of cats, dogs, chickens, horses, goats, ducks, etc. that our grandparents kept on their land in rural Alabama. These experiences greatly impacted the way that we related to each other as children and the way that we still connect to the world at large. Loving animals is something that vibrates at the core of my being, intrinsic. However, I also firmly believe that the human capacity for tenderness toward the other creatures with which we share this planet is innate, not just specific to my family, and acknowledging and fostering that capacity is crucial for a thorough understanding of humanity’s place in the world.

It is this belief that draws me to one particular Pentti Sammallahti photograph in our Kindred Spirits exhibition. “Untitled, 2005” captures a candid moment in which a girl lifts her little sister to get a better view of a tiny kitten, alone and mewling on an outdoor counter. Another small girl looks back expectantly, waiting her turn. Knowing the extensive travel Sammallahti undertakes to create his work, it is safe to assume that this moment took place far away from Alabama, and yet the scene is so familiar to me that I become nostalgic. I instantly remember the shared moments with my own sister centered around the numerous kittens that we watched come into the world, or rescued with the help of our grandparents. These animals were our constant companions through childhoods thick with the discovery of how life blossoms. This photograph is a reminder, maybe even a confirmation, that these kinds of experiences take place across all of humanity. Our relationship with the animal world shapes who and what we are as a species, not just as individuals, but also as a whole. It unifies.

So, it isn’t the masterful composition of lines and geometry or the delicate printing techniques that speak most to me, though those things are certainly beautiful, and apparent in the photograph. It is the way that Sammallahti’s poetic, ever-watchful eye was able to capture this unifying essence between human and animal subtly, gracefully, through subjects full of youthful innocence and wonder. For me, this one photograph completely embodies the meaning of “Kindred Spirits.”   


Lucas Shaffer Selects Keith Carter's San Galgano, 1998

Keith Carter – San Galgano, 1998 Toned Gelatin-Silver Print, 15x15" Image, Edition of 50, $3600


Lucas Shaffer
Special Projects & Client Relations
(505) 988-5152 x114
San Galgano is quintessential late-90’s Keith Carter. I adore the contrast of these two white fluffy felines against the murky dilapidated stone interior of the 13th-Century Italian abbey. For me, there is a logical dissonance seeing the cats here in the abbey’s ruins, their presence seems out of place, curious. Most likely these cats are doing just as cats want to do – find a safe sunny spot to lounge about in, but Carter plays off the situation’s delightful curiosity to build a scene imbued with mystique by tilting his lens, split toning the print, and using a gorgeously symmetrical composition. This is what Carter does best; he excels at using his photographic tools to transform the commonplace into the wonderous. Paramount in this transformation is the trio of glowing lancet windows to the top of the frame. Even without knowing the Abbey at San Galgano is a gothic church, the form of the lancet windows with their tall, arched, bright but blurry forms punctuate the frame further separating the scene from reality and helping lend the image it's ethereal, dare I say, spiritual quality. Now I know that these cats are not “ghost cats” or “angel cats”, but Carter’s image creates a space to believe in forces and connections outside my own sensorial perception. Here’s to witnessing the extraordinary, the miraculous, and the sacred in the everyday.



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. 








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