Found 127 Items
Metro Station Crowd 1, City of Shadows, 1992April 20, 2021
Alexey Titarenko, Vasileostrovoskaya Metro Station Crowd 1, from City of Shadows, 1992
I was twenty two when Titarenko captured this image, a freshly posthumous portrait of the USSR – and that was nearly forty years ago. The Cold War, as we knew it, was over, but the uncertainty, both for the bustling passengers of the once and future St. Petersburg, after its decades as Leningrad, and the rest of the world, is encapsulated in this image. Titarenko is an acclaimed photographer, not least for how after “the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 he produced several series of photographs about the human condition of the Russian people during this time and the suffering they endured throughout the twentieth century. To illustrate links between the present and the past, he created powerful metaphors by introducing long exposure and intentional camera movement into street photography. The most well known series of this period is City of Shadows.” More of Titarenko’s work can be seen here.
~ Bart GazzolaRead More
Dance With DesireMay 8, 2021
Irving Layton, Dance With Desire, Selected Love Poems with Drawings by Richard Gorman, 1992
It’s interesting to consider the vagaries of cultural history: what falls in and out of the community mind, and how something that was once a touchstone of cultural discourse may be forgotten. Dance with Desire (Selected Love Poems) by Irving Layton, with illustrations by the late Canadian artist Richard Gorman is notable in this light. Layton (1912 – 2016) offers poems that are often blunt and unflinching, whether about desire or despair in the realms of love and lust (‘...your unopened / Brittle beauty troubles an aging man / Who hobbles after you a little way / Fierce and ridiculous’). Comparisons to Catullus are appropriate. Gorman (1935 – 2010) intersperses and augments the text, with monochromatic, frenetic drawings, aswirl and emotional: one might see faces and forms, of lovers, perhaps entangled or trying to remove themselves from the fray. This was published by Porcupine Quill’s Press and Lake Galleries (the latter producing an additional 110 copies with numbered and signed prints by Gorman, as a limited edition artwork in book form). You can purchase it here. ~ Bart GazzolaRead More
Shadow ChamberApril 20, 2021
I’ve been familiar with Roger Ballen’s work for several years: the direct yet unsettling images bring to mind the works of Eugene Meatyard or Diane Arbus, and with hints of a performative macabre that goes beyond those two, and perhaps edges up against Joel Peter Witkin (but with less demonstrably ‘freaky’ and more subtle, and thus more pervasive, characters and settings that are more disturbing in their supposed banality) . In an introductory text to this wonderful collection of Ballen’s photographs, Robert A Sobieszek offers the following: “To discern fact from fiction in this work may be simply impossible; to tell acting from real life may also be; to bother with such discernment may not be only futile but missing the point.” I’d argue that Ballen’s work is a glimpse of the very real, and it’s stark and unflinching. A good introduction to this prolific artist’s aesthetic.
~ Bart GazzolaRead More