The “Re-Cycle” Show at the Cambridge Art Association

The CAA has had more shows than usual in the first half of the year, which is nice.  I’ve gotten to show things in several already.  The latest, which I found out about just now, is the show “Re-Cycle,” juried by Susan Nielsen, farm project space + gallery.

My picture in this show is titled Adults Only:

The Mystic RiverI’m more interested in gesture than in other elements of art, and usually for me that means “found people”—unposed human figures—and not “found objects.”  This one was irresistible, though.  The weird humor of this sign fragment, floating in the Mystic River, went along somehow with the swirling, oily water.  The water is not for the innocent or faint of heart, nor, I suppose, is the place where it’s going.  When I heard “re-cycle,” my mind turned to images of trash, waste, and things that look like waste.  It usually has a good connotation these days, about a greener Earth and turning even garbage into light, but what we have here is the dark side:  things heading back down to what Phillip K. Dick called the Tomb World.

As with The Fair, this picture was shot on Kodak E100G film, with a Leica M6TTL camera and 35mm Summicron ASPH lens.  The film was my standard for a while.  Now it’s gone for good.  Its images had a lot of the qualities of really good digital images but with somewhat better highlight control, I thought.  Anyway, it’s mostly digital for me going forward.

The “12th National Prize” Show at the Cambridge Art Association

I was very pleased today to learn that my photograph The Fair was juried into the “National Prize” show, and it will be in the CAA’s exhibit in Cambridge from May 15 through July 11 this year.  The show was juried by Toby Kamps, Menil Collection.

Bangor, Maine, 2005This has been one my own favorite pictures for many years, but it has not received this kind of critical recognition before.

In the first place, I just like the way the picture looks.  It was shot on the beautiful, now defunct Kodak E100G film; the colors, although they are very rich, are 100% natural.  Colors do look rich at the state fair.

Gestures are of great importance to me, and I love the juxtaposition of the little toddler, who has a look of innocent excitement on his face, with the two big boys, who are either looking oafish or snarling.

I was very close to the big boy on the right.  He completely ignored me, and the 35mm lens I was using captured a lot of detail in a lot of depth.  I moved around slightly and waited for the dragon roller coaster to be in the right spot.

That much, I saw in the viewfinder.  Later, I was intrigued by a kind of coincidence of perspective.  The human figures that appear to be smaller due to perspective—that is, smaller because they are farther from the lens—also are smaller in real life.  That was a bonus which I believe contributes to the picture’s feeling of depth.