Posts Tagged “Jessica Ladd”

By Jessica Ladd, PRC Fall 2012 Intern

When it comes to imagination, there are no limits to how far our minds can take us. I recently had the exciting opportunity to observe an exhibit by Lynn Goldsmith at the Griffin Museum of Photography in Winchester. This body of work, entitled The Looking Glass, highlights the psychological relationship between what we see and what we imagine while exploring the issue of identity.   Taking on the role of various make believe characters, Goldsmith places herself in her images to represent her numerous fictional identities. A new adventure awaits the viewer as they jump from one photograph to the next. In other exhibits by contemporary photographers, I have found there to be a lack of imagination and creativity. Goldsmith, however has broken this barrier, exposing what lies in the deepest and most private corners of her imagination. But in portraying numerous fictional characters, is Goldsmith attempting to represent what is in her own head, or perhaps what lies deep in the minds of us all? We all have dreams, fantasies, and worlds that we travel to when reality becomes too much to bear. Is it possible that we can identify with any of Goldsmith’s multiple figures of her imagination?

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This review of The Space in Between was written during the exhibition’s run at the PRC Gallery (November 15, 2012 – January 19, 2013). The show has now moved to a second venue at the Atlantic Wharf Gallery  downtown as a PRC satellite exhibit. We invite you to visit The Space in Between to experience its new configuration this spring. This satellite exhibition will be on view from January 28 – March 22, 2013. The Atlantic Wharf Gallery at 290 Congress St. is open every day from 7 am – 10 pm.

 

By Jessica Ladd, PRC Fall 2012 Intern

When we think of places like shops and houses, we expect there will also be people to fill them. So what happens when three different photographers decide to challenge this idea? In the most recent exhibit on display at the Photographic Resource Center, photographers Stefanie Klavens, Lynn Saville, and Daniel Feldman showcase work that explores the idea of empty spaces where humans are present without being physically pictured. Through the use of architecturally-focused photography, they have depicted manmade locations that would normally be buzzing with people, but are captured completely empty. Yet, the viewer can sense a human presence just out of reach. Where did everybody go? Why is this location void of the usual hustle and bustle of everyday life?

In her body of work entitled How We Live, Stefanie Klavens has selected spots that would normally be filled with people, but strangely, are completely barren and desolate.These locations range from a bar in Reno to an elegant restaurant and even an abandoned apartment that seem to have been caught in a post-apocalyptic state. Weren’t places like these built so that people could come together and socialize?  Where is the usual crowd? Upon closer inspection, signs of a human presence beings to emerge. Holiday decorations line the walls of an empty bar, while white graffiti stands out against the brick wall of an abandoned building. Vibrant yellow sunflowers and pink Gerber daisies give life to a seemingly empty flower store while cars surround a hotel pool without any swimmers. While these images lack any human beings, they serve as a clear representation of how we as a society live. In a way, they serve as portraits exhibiting the unique lifestyles of people in this day and age. In her artist statement, Klavens states that these “intimate, frozen moments become pieces in a jigsaw puzzle that reflects our culture and how we choose to go about our lives.”

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 By Jessica Ladd, PRC Fall 2012 Intern

Since opening in 1971, the Panopticon Gallery has become one of the oldest fine art photography galleries in the United States specializing in contemporary, modern, and vintage photography.  Their goal is to represent established and emerging photographers who are focused on developing and expanding their careers. They also regularly assist collectors in buying, selling, and locating photographs along with supporting local educational institutions. On October 25th, I had the privilege of attending the Panopticon Gallery’s Fall Photography Salon, where photographers represented by gallery owner Jason Landry were able to show off their most recent work. The artists-Lindsey Beal, Heidi Kirkpatrick, Stella Johnson, Roger Farrington, Alexander Harding, and Bill Franson-all had very different ideas, making each of their portfolios unique.  Throughout the night, I was able to talk with and interview each photographer and learn more about his or her artistic style.  My goal was to learn what each of their portfolios was about, if there was a message they were trying to convey, and what inspired them to create their personal style of photography.

Interestingly enough, both Heidi Kirkpatrick and Lindsey Beal have incorporated themes involving contemporary and historical women’s issues, feminism, and sexuality into their work. Their images highlight the delicate shapes and gentle curves of the female body through unique photographic methods such as transparent imagery on film, sculpture, and 3D mixed media objects. But while the overarching themes of Beal and Kirkpatrick’s work are similar, vast differences set them apart from one another. Kirkpatrick’s work depicts the world experienced by women, along with exploring various areas of the female body in detail, such as faces, arms, legs, breasts, hands, and hair. The subjects in her images range from infants to full grown women, symbolizing the different stages of female’s life.  In a non-traditional approach to photography, Kirkpatrick has transferred these vintage images onto three-dimensional objects including wooden blocks, ceramic spheres, and even mahjong tiles. When I inquired as to why she had chosen such a unique way to display her work, she said that she wanted to give both the objects and photographs a second life. “Only part of their story is being told,” she stated, “The rest is out of reach.” This idea caused me to view the items in a new light, and not as old things, but symbols of another era. What purpose did these objects serve before they were altered? Who are the women in these photographs? What stories do they have to tell? The answers to these questions are, unfortunately, lost with time, but through her creative process, Kirkpatrick has indeed given them a ‘new life.’

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By Jessica Ladd, PRC Fall 2012 Intern

The ambiance that accompanies this black and white photograph by Vivien Goldman is one of tranquility and peace. The viewer is drawn to the center, the focal point of the image, a window framed by a simple lace curtain. It’s sheer, semi-translucent lace is almost ghost-like, illuminating a soft patch of light that shines through the bottom section of the rectangular window. This light casts shadows that reflect onto the surrounding walls, creating different levels of white and gray. The curtain itself has a delicate crosshatched pattern that can be observed in the upper portion of the window. Its swag is draped gently over the top windowpane, creating a delicate curve that adds a level of elegance to the already beautiful curtain.

Vivien Goldman, Lacy Curtain, 2011, Archival Inkjet Print, 16×20 inches, courtesy of the artist

The paint that once coated the walls and ceiling surrounding the window is now severely chipped and peeling. Cracks in the paint create giant Xs that travel from one section of the wall to another like veins. In the upper left corner, almost all of the paint is gone, exposing the concrete wall that it once covered. This bare wall almost serves as an omen to the walls that are still mostly coated in flaking paint. With time, they too will be bare.

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By Jessica Ladd, PRC Fall 2012 Intern

What do we think of when we hear the word “auction”? Is it the booming voice of the auctioneer over the microphone? Or maybe it’s the bidders battling over who has the highest bid? What about all the interesting items being bid upon? Since the day I began my internship at the PRC in September, all I heard people talking about was the auction. In the months before, there was so much to do.  Artists would come to the PRC, dropping off large, square packages that I knew were filled with brilliant works of art. When I unwrapped each package, I felt like I was holding a fortune in my hands. They were all so different, so unique. When the night of the auction finally came, I was excited, but also a little nervous because I had no idea what to expect. All I knew was that I was going to be an art handler, which meant I was going to hold pieces up for the bidders to see during the live auction.

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Rania Matar
Girls in Between: Portraits of Identity
PRC Gallery, 832 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston

Nancy Grace Horton: Being 13
PRC Members’ Gallery, 832 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston

September 6- November 3, 2012

Review by Jessica Ladd, PRC Intern, Fall 2012

Adolescence is often one of the most difficult and frustrating periods that we encounter in our lives. After living carefree for most of our lives, we are suddenly thrust into a roller coaster of a world where we have to make difficult choices. It is also a time when we begin to discover who we are and the type of person we want to become. In their recent work, Rania Matar and Nancy Grace Horton have documented this metamorphic period through photography. They focus on young women who are bridging the gap between childhood and adulthood. Each of the girls featured in the photographs of this exhibit have some kind of story to tell, and it is through their portraits that we are able to visually connect with them.

Rania Matar
Shannon, Boston 2010
From the Series, A Girl and her Room

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I am a recent graduate of Endicott College with an interest in studio art and museum education.  I received a BFA with a concentration in studio art in May 2012. For my senior thesis, I explored the link between creative arts therapy and mental illness. Because I have suffered from depression and anxiety in the past, I wanted others to be able to share in my thoughts and emotions during that difficult period of my life, as well as provide a voice for others who suffer like me.

I also take a keen interest in historical and vintage photography, especially portraiture. Black and white moments captured in time tell such captivating stories of other generations that often seem foreign to many of us. When I look at the faded gray and sepia expressions on the faces of those from another era, I find myself wondering, “What was going on in their minds when this photo was taken? What did they do next? What stories did they have to tell?”

I am also greatly interested in fashion photography from the early to mid 2oth century. Photographer Richard Avedon, who captures the timeless beauty of women from the 1940s and ‘50s, is someone I greatly admire. Through his work, Avedon dispels the stereotype that women are fragile and delicate. His ability to capture both their external and internal strength is a quality that I find very powerful. He encourages the viewer to look beyond the designer clothing, hair, and makeup and into the model’s true self. Even though I am captivated by the styles and trends exhibited in Avedon’s photographs, I feel that his greatest success lies in his portrayal of women who are often underestimated and misunderstood.

In the future, I plan to attend graduate school for museum studies and/or museum education. My ultimate goal is to work in a museum with historical significance, such as the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C. or the Museum of Natural History in New York City. While interning at the PRC, I hope to gain knowledge and experience that will help me succeed professionally in the future. I hope to learn more about photography through the resources that the PRC has to offer, including the 2012 Benefit Auction, the Aaron Siskind Library, nights and workshops at the PRC, and by interacting with new people and gaining more insight into photography. My goal is to learn more about exhibiting art and the different ways that people can express themselves.

 

Richard Avedon, “Dovima and Sacha, Café des Deux Magots, Paris,” August 1955

 

Richard Avedon, “Dovima with Elephants, Cirque d’hiver, Paris,” August 1955

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