Special Problems in Photography: The Portrait

Post your comments, reviews and critiques below. As stated in the course syllabus, reviews should be at least one paragraph in length (approx 250 words) and follow the general guidelines presented in course handouts, including: Talking and Writing about Art.

Again, this format is informal and the comments should be brief and concise. This is not a space for lengthy discourse or academic writing. I expect you to write as you would speak in class and elaborate beyond “I like…” or “, (the work) is awesome”. Be descriptive and specific in response to both the formal and conceptual elements of the work(s).

Keith

 

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7 Responses to Special Problems in Photography: The Portrait

  1. Derek Koch says:

    Derek Koch
    The Rowan University 1st Annual Juried Art Exhibit
    Rowan University

    This spring, the members of The Rowan Arts Collective put on a first of its kind art show at the University. This exhibit was a juried art exhibit showcasing work of Rowan (and not just art) students outside of the traditional designated art exhibits on campus. As the first annual showcasing of this exhibit there were not really many expectations, at least for myself. My overall impression of the show was extremely positive. It was truly a great experience to see a multitude of works being displayed from so many familiar faces. The exhibit showcased everything from metals and jewelry work to fine art paintings and 3D sculptures.
    My favorite pieces included a large canvas abstracted painting of an elephant that made its presence immediately known as soon as I entered the exhibit. I had seen the piece multiple times in Westby over the course of its creation so seeing it as a complete piece was something I had long been anticipating. Another piece that caught my attention was a much smaller piece placed directly next to the elephant canvas. A photorealistic pencil drawing of an old man had me in awe. I was even more impressed when I had a chance to talk to the artist who drew it to find out that he was not even an art major, but a chemistry major. For this reason I found this exhibit so intriguing. A number of the works in the show were not done by Rowan art students which really made me stop and think how much untapped artistic talent is really out there.

  2. Derek Koch says:

    Derek Koch
    Tom Nussbaum: Heads and Tales
    Rowan University Art Gallery

    Rowan University’s Art Gallery always hosts amazing exhibitions, and Tom Nussbaum’s Heads and Tales is no exception. This exhibit has been on display through the month of April and into May. It is comprised of a decade and a half of brilliant works from Nussbaum, and established artist, sculptor, and illustrator.
    The first thing I noticed when I walked into the exhibit was his use of a vibrant color palate. Everywhere I looked, bright and vivid colors adorned each piece making it hard to choose which pieces I wanted to look at first. Upon the first couple minutes in the gallery, it was clear just how versatile Nussbaum is in his work. The intricate sculptures to the loosely drawn illustrations gave a sense of progression and style changes experienced by Nussbaum and his work throughout the past decade. My favorite pieces were the number of head sculpture pieces he had done. They were flawlessly executed with their texture and form and beautifully crafted with an illustrative/cartoonish manner that I had never seen before. Despite working with such a wide range of mediums Nussbaum has managed to maintain a cohesive feel and style to all of his pieces. The playfulness and unique style of all his works created for a truly unique gallery that I am sure captivated every person that walked through the door.

  3. Gabriela Zardus says:

    Gabriela Zardus
    Review #1
    The Core show had a large diversity of work in the limited area of the upstairs student gallery. Having such a large variety of work all in one place is always a challenge because it creates a bit of a congested vibe. The 2d works on the walls, and 3d works in the middle of the room were spread out nicely and flowed well within the given space. The color and b&w artworks were placed in an aesthetically pleasing way that created a distinct momentum as you moved through the gallery space. The unison 18 by 24 size of all the 2d works added to the crowdedness on the walls, and made it harder to appreciate each piece individually. Since the 2d works were required assignments for the core courses there were multiples of the same assignment and style. This also made it more difficult to appreciate each piece’s individuality. For me, the sculptural works seemed to show more expression and freedom through their design and medium. It seems as though the sculpture student’s were being a bit more adventurous with the given assignments. The 2d artworks were all presented covered in acetate to give it a more professional feel to the students work, but by there being a large amount of pieces so close together on the walls it still created a problem with some of the 2d pieces not being as well lit as others. I believe the 3d sculpture and ceramic works took the spotlight by being brilliantly lit, and demanding attention on the pedestals as soon as you entered the gallery space. The 3d artworks had the most ideal placement being the first things you see in the middle of the room, along with most of them being of a larger size than most of the 2d works.

  4. Hello! I am writing a review for the Perkins Center gallery. I enjoyed the location of the art show very much. I think using an old house to show case local photographers’ work gave the show a kind of supportive community vibe and made me appreciate the artwork more because they came from people who live near me and that I could possibly relate to. I liked that upstairs they had some pictures in the hallway because it made it feel like I was looking at pictures hanging in someone’s house. The one problem that I had with the show were the prices of the art work. Most of the pieces were between $300 and $1000 dollars. I am not familiar with how photographs at other galleries and exhibitions cost, but I thought these prices were extreme for the type of show it was. The show is meant to show off fellow residents of New Jersey’s work. I think for the “local” and “community” vibe the show gave off, the prices should have reflected community better. I think that the prices for most of the photographs should have been a lot less expensive so that more people in the community, who come to look at the exhibit, would be able to afford the pieces.
    As for the actual artwork my favorite piece was the big photograph with the two young boys in striped PJ’s on the shore of some exotic location. I thought this was very creative and made me feel like I was looking into someone’s dream or a weird version of Peter Pan. I thought the colors popped very nicely. The artist may have edited the saturation or the contrast to make that so. I noticed that the boys were very bright which made them seem almost angelic. There was some form of artificial light coming in from the right of the picture because the sun was in a different location. One photograph in the show that I did not find to my liking was the picture of the dead pig head. The lighting and the quality of the paper were good and the detail of the head was nice and clear, but I didn’t find anything about the subject interesting.

  5. Derek Koch says:

    Derek Koch
    Photography 33
    Perkins Center for the Arts
    Being a first time visitor to the Perkins Center, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. I knew it was a photography exhibition of some sorts, but that was about it. Upon the first couple minutes of my visit it was clear that there was no real rhyme or reason to the selection of the images. The only distinguishable similarity was that the photographers all seemed to come from the general tri-state area. This being said, this smorgasbord of different styles, printing techniques, and media made for an interesting exhibit.
    It didn’t narrow its focus to one particular style or theme which allowed the viewer to take in a wide variety of photography, some of which I found engaging, others not so much. Two of my favorites were two black and white landscape portraits taken by Mike Froio. They offered crisp and dynamic compositions with interesting subject matter. Another photograph that caught my attention was “Before the Flood” taken by John Gayusky. At the time I’m sure he thought he had just captured a pretty picture, but the impact that photo now has I’m sure is more than he could have ever imagined. That beautiful scene filled with warm salty air, amusement, and happiness is now the exact spot littered with desolate framings of what was once the Funtown and Casino Piers.

    (please ignore my post in the honors history of photography thread, I posted in there by accident)

  6. Brent Galen Adkins says:

    The Perkins Photography show was an extremely pleasant surprise as the photography as a whole was inspiring and impressive. That is not to say that I believed all of the work was great, nor even above okay, but that more often than not I found myself mouth agape at a piece from the quality of the print and presentation, but more importantly the compositions, concepts, and styles that were used by the showcased artists. The feel of the photographs had a great range from everyday photography, to staged portraits, to surrealism, to conceptual, and all blending smoothly together. The first floor, right room had the strongest group of works in my eyes based on personal preferences, with both Keith Sharp’s and John Decker’s pieces astounding me for their beauty, especially in a local art show. Photography is notoriously the easiest art form to do and the hardest to do well, so going to a photography show at a smaller level is worrying in ways, producing almost a doubt in the cynical artist/observer that there will be much work of value to be seen. But my doubts were laid to rest, and I was colored impressed, with even the setting performing alongside the works. The home/mansion feel of the former mansion now gallery gave an enjoyable vibe to the show, but almost did a disservice because at smaller levels, more formal settings seem heightening of the renown garnered for the show, but at higher levels, more kitsch and innovative galleries add a tinge of exclusivity to the show. But nonetheless, the home made the show seem almost ironic, as in homes you expect “fine art,” aka oil paintings, not fine photos which often are meant to unsettle the viewer in one way or another as they’re real representations of an artist’s vision, so seeing essentially reality on display is an enlightening agitation of the viewer’s sense of normalcy. My only complaint was not of the quantity (very apt) or quality (very impressive) of the show, but of the lighting for daytime viewings as the windows produced a serious and annoying glare upon many of the artworks, an insult to the name of the “glaree.” So, overall, kudos to Mooresville and its chosen artists for their inspiring and impressive show.

  7. Brent Galen Adkins says:

    Helen Kippen’s senior thesis exhibit held great potential, but ultimately played a flat performance. First thing the viewer would see upon entering the exhibit if flowing clockwise is Kippen’s work from her time in Florence Italy, being three portraits of pin up girls from the shoulder up. These three pieces worked together well as a cohesive series, but lacked the professional polish that would push them forth as something to grab the viewer’s heart. Her photography above was strong in a sense for its simple color schemes and compositions, but the vignette was too great and powerful that it overtook the photography and shrunk the already dainty prints. Moving on were her prints which encircled the remainder of the room except for her two cake sculptures which were playful and reminiscent of similar older sculpture, but lacked the refinement once again to push it to the peak of professionalism, a theme that seemed to linger about her show as a whole, of being almost, but not quite, there. The prints were interesting, taking the typical pin up girl and often imposing the artist’s own image onto their forms while dancing the rope of embracing and disdaining the stereotypical role of women in Americana society. One print in particular held a great deal of meaning more than any other print, and that was the print of the woman’s head on a wooden board for sale, mimicking the classic deer’s head of hunters’ homes. The piece spoke to the dismissal of outspoken women in many cultures as a woman who is not animated cannot speak, but nor can she do anything else, such as have sex or cook or clean, and in fact, if lungs were unnecessary in the act of speaking, then the only thing this woman could do is speak, thus promoting the one thing this product is being portrayed as preventing. So, while its intentions are genuine and its paradoxes are interesting, its concepts are unrefined and misdirected. As for the rest of her work, its meaning seemed too lacking to justify the rough quality of the prints, and the battle between the desire to concede to vs. rebel against the “woman’s role” ended up reverberating in work that was ultimately unsure of itself.

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