I spent a good part of Saturday afternoon with Arlette Kayafas in her Boston gallery (Gallery Kayafas), looking at the work from my 2013 Memory series and recent works that included Razor's Edge, Resurrection and Flow. I was introduced to Arlette through Shellburne Thurber who has been instrumental in the development of my work over this past year.
|Arlette Kayafas - photographer unknown|
|Memory meets Afterlife|
The work spread over the edges of the table and spilled onto the floor. Because our meeting was during open gallery hours, visitors had to step around the prints, as they looked at the current exhibition, which of course drew them into our conversation. People were curious about the subject of the photographs as well as the process of their making. They were surprised that the sewn collages were on paper and not fabric and commented on the painterly surface of the prints. Beyond those formal aspects their critique affirmed that the work held a deeper interest beyond an initial visual appeal.
Influenced by the ideas of W.J.T.Mitchell in What Do Pictures Want? I have felt an urgency over these last months to push the work out into the world. Mitchell contends that pictures are living beings in and of themselves, and as such, have desires and needs just as all living things do. (He further complicates his argument by also saying that sometimes what a picture needs is nothing at all.) Applying this thinking to my own work, half finished on the studio wall, I asked “what do you want?” Thus the urgency of exposure began. Of course one could argue that asking this question simply allowed me to project and unleash my own ego desire for attention and validation. But what if the image really was shouting to be seen? Regardless, I have been on a mission to honor what I believe to be important to the images – interaction with the public.
Meeting with Arlette was exciting. We talked about the work, current trends in photography, practical gallery considerations, the commerce of art and the future of both my own work and establishing a relationship between it and the Gallery Kayafas.