March 15, 2011

One of my favorite photographers is Jeff Hayman, currently on view at Robin Rice Gallery in the West Village (through April 27). Jeff will also be at AIPAD, but more about that another day.

Robin Rice Gallery is a small condensed setting, absolutely suitable to Jeff’s intimate photographs. he has a wonderfully lyrical way of creating atmospheric shots of people, places and things. Because his work is monochromatic, he achieves both detail and scope in very condensed images.

It is refreshing to find a photographer who prefers the small scale to the mega-print. You must look at the detail of his images because they are so small. You aren’t swept up in the oversized vanity shot with its hyper-saturated color. Jeff is saying “this is how we live today”. He creates photographs; he doesn’t create Photoshops.

Personally, I prefer his city scenes. There’s nothing better than his shots of New York City’s canyons at dusk with blazing city lights. Almost as good are the wintry park shots.

The photographs are complemented by his custom-made frames. (Jeff was a framer before becoming a full-time photographer. These days, he has an assistant who makes the frames.)

Last year, at AIPAD, I was disturbed to see that Jeff’s focus was on presentation media for his photos; the photos themselves were of lesser importance. As evidence, there were the tiny boxes with even smaller images, folding frames, etc. essentially gimmicks. In chatting with Jeff, he mentioned the “unusual” frames he’s showing at AIPAD this year.

Fortunately for the photography lover, his work will be on view at Robin Rice while AIPAD is on. Go to Robin Rice and save the AIPAD entrance fee.

Best of all, his prices are extremely reasonable.

One comment

  1. It seems to be a trend, this focus on frames and presentation. I recently saw an off-the-beaten-path show by young artists and all the photographers there were doing something weird and whimsical with their frames. Putting photos on old wood pieces, in ephemera boxes, etc. A shift to curiosites, in a way, and away from the image itself. Wonder if this will have a lasting impact.

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