Catching Up… on the AIPAD show

April 22, 2010

Hmmmm…… How many weeks ago was it? Well, long enough that the piles of paper on top of my notes went flying.

General impression: the old greats are still old greats: Atget, Brassai, Kertesz, et. al. Sure, I love them as much as we all do. And I suppose the opportunity to a piece of their work would be wonderful. But I have to admit that I wish that the galleries were showcasing new talent instead of recycling the old photos. So we’re now going to talk about several outstanding talents who aren’t old greats. But I’m sure these photographers will be considered greats:

Jefferson Hayman

We’re lucky enough to own three of Jeff Hayman’s images. (Puts us in league with MOMA, Bill Clinton, Robert deNiro and … Banana Republic?) So it was a pleasure to spend time with Jeff chatting about the work he was showing and what he was working on.

Jeff’s work in unique – in fact, there’s no other word for it. To start with, his images are small format, black and white, and are shot in film and printed the old fashioned way. The largest image size might be 10”x12”, certainly he wasn’t showing anything much larger. The smallest was possibly ¾” x ¾”.

Jeff’s work is atmospheric. He doesn’t just take pictures – the pictures create moods. Imagine the world at dusk and you enter Jeff’s world. It can be a bright daytime shot, but it feels like the world at dusk where you’re about to set off on a glamorous or possibly mysterious escapade. Couple that with a frame chosen for a specific image (sometimes created for that image) and you’ve entered the fabulous world of Jefferson Hayman.

Carolyn Marks Blackwood

Carolyn is an astonishing photographer who uses nature to create wonderfully abstract photographs.

Strolling by Alan Klotz’ booth, I was taken with an image of colored dots. With great curiosity, getting close to her large format digital images, I realized that Carolyn had taken pictures of migratory flocks of small birds. Hundreds, possibly thousands, of small birds that covered every inch of available surface – in flight, perched, doing whatever. Just astonishing. And imagine her patience.

Then there were the ice shard photos. I’ve never seen anything like them – and I’m in love with them. The ice bits are all shapes and every photo looks like she’s taken photos of gemstones in the rough. The colors and shapes actually make the bird photos mundane. Now I just have to figure out how to get my greedy little hands on one of them.

Jeffrey Conley

There must be something in a name – all these Jeff’s. Lucky Peter Fetterman Gallery to be showing Jeff Conley’s work. I envy them – living with Conley’s work, and then transferring pieces to the lucky buyer.

Jeff Conley photographs winter. Even when it’s summer, he creates winter. He takes pleasure in showing us all the beauty of form in details of rock, tree, puddle, whatever. His white images create serenity and calm while using intricacy to create excitement. Each image invites you deeper. Simple, complex, emotional, austere, wondrous.

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