The Inner Path of Photography

We yearn for the taste of the sacred…and through our cameras discover it, the world, and ourselves.

Tag: FotoFest

FotoFest 2010 – Last Days, Final Notes!

Well, I’m running out of time and so are you if you’re trying to see your last images at FotoFest 2010 Houston.

But don’t forget, if you miss the real thing, you can look up many of the images and learn about the artist on the web links I’ve left you. I’ve learned a lot myself just writing these FotoFest entries…and expect to learn more as I follow up more on my favorite artists.

I realize that most of my notes have been about major photography venues in Houston….and that was just because with little time, I went to some of my tried and true sources for photography in Houston.

However, I had a wonderful time over at 4411 Montrose Blvd, a classy contemporary  building on Montrose Blvd that houses four galleries, all of which I always totally enjoy. These galleries don’t show photography on a regular basis, but they certainly came through beautifully for FotoFest. If you have time, go to the following, and if you’ve run out of town, at least visit the websites!

1.     Anya  Tish Gallery

Anya Tish always has interesting artists in  her gallery, and her FotoFest exhibition has been no exception.

Begona Egurbide brings her work, “Precipice” from Spain. She is working with a technique called lenticular photography: expressive, beautiful, and fluid. Read the description on Anya’s website, it captures the feeling of Begona’s work beautifully…

I’ve seen Egurbide’s work before, and it just gets better and better. A technique that could end up being “showy” or just a trick has been applied with results of emotion and grace.

Thanks for an unusual show, Anya, and for your great hospitality…

2.     Peel Gallery

“Hardly More Than Ever”, by Laura Letinsky is beautiful in its simplicity and use of the light. Still lifes have never looked this way before. An interesting fact about Laura is that she taught in Houston for a brief time…lucky students of hers!

3.     Wade Wilson Art

I loved the seascapes that are being shown at Wade Wilson Art, the artist being Libbie Masterson, with work entitled “Sky: A Study of the American Sky.” The images themselves are celestial and grand, and Libby also is a master at how she mounts and displays them. Be sure to see the night versions downstairs…

FotoFest 2010 Notes – MFAH: Richard Misrach

I forgot!

As part of the MFAH show, there is an image from Richard Misrach’s series, “On the Beach” (Untitled #1170-04.)

It’s a very large image, a swimmer floating in the middle of a vast Pacific Ocean (shot from a high hotel room in Hawaii).

The image felt expansive, wonderful, uplifting to me…so therefore  I was surprised to read the curator’s notes, which perceived the image as reflecting our feelings of insecurity and groundlessness after 9/11.

Hmm…not my feeling at all when looking at that image…Why don’t you go see it and tell me how it makes you feel?

After a little research, I did find some interesting background about the images and timing from the website…and also read more comments of Misrach about his project.  Now I see, at least, where the Houston curator got their perspective.

However, I do want to note that Misrach himself, as well as saying that the work was about how people can endure many things, and still then go and find happiness and relaxation,  said that the work, “…is much more about our relationship to the bigger sublime picture of things.”

Whew, that makes me happy. Each of the images seen here continue to make me long for the water, the beauty, the vastness of the ocean.

What about you?

FotoFest 2010 Notes – MFAH: Seung Woo Back

Work by the Korean photographer Seung Woo Back also caught my eye and mind in the MFAH exhibition, “Ruptures and Continuities: Photography Made after 1960 from the MFAH Collection”

“Real World” is a series of photographs taken in a South Korean theme park that features miniatures of world famous tourist places. Fake architecture and the realistic Seoul landscape coexists there, and the rather calm images evoke an odd sensation and suggest the envy that South Koreans turn towards outside countries.” (from the website of the Foil Gallery, Tokyo, upon their 2007 exhibit of  Seung Woo Back’s “Real World”)

Click here for a photo of the image….
Also see artist’s site…

I liked what Woo Back is doing as an art form, and also liked what he had to say about his work:

“As the border between ontological reality and imaginary reality becomes tightly entwined in my pictures, one might begin to wonder how the world is shaped in our own imaginations,” said the artist. (From curator’s notes, MFAH gallery wall.)

Yes, I agree….a concept worth a lifetime of reflection.

FotoFest 2010 Notes – MFAH: Hatakeyama Naoya

The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFAH) has  a huge exhibit this year for FotoFest, titled, Ruptures and Continuities: Photography Made after 1960 from the MFAH Collection”

Nearly 200 images from over 80 artists are grouped in five themes…read the Museum’s description, it will give you an idea of what you’re in store for.

I found much of the work interesting, and nice to know to fill in more of my knowledge about photography over the years, and how it has been used, but two images in particular caught my eye, along with what the artist had to say about his work.

1) Hatakeyama Naoya, “Underground #6411”

I was drawn to this image for the simplicity, beautiful lighting, and mysterious beauty of it. It was interesting to feel such a spiritual feeling from the light in a sewer tunnel. The notes written by the MFAH curator beside the image gave words to the connection I felt with  this artist and his work:

“The experience recalled the same feeling of helplessness he had felt 30 years earlier searching for a light in a cave near his home, or standing on a giant dune in the Sahara. In the darkness of the sewer system, he realized that he was the only one needing light, compelled to feel the existence of nature, the sublime.” (my bolding/italics).

My kind of guy.

Click here for the MFAH picture of the image. This excerpt from their catalog gives you a framework for Naoya’s work:

“Since the late 1980s, Hatakeyama Naoya has created interlocking series of photographs about Tokyo. He began photographing the limestone quarries from which the buildings of Tokyo are built. Then he photographed the rivers leading to and through the city, and finally, the tunnels beneath it. This picture is haunting beyond our knowledge of where it was taken. He has created a strange stage, awaiting both players and audiences.”

There is also an artist’s page on French Artnet, where there is this image, more of his work, , and a CV of the the artist reflecting the many  projects he has worked on.

You’ll see on the French Artnet page that Naoya has also explored the art of  seascapes.  His approach and sensibility speaks to me;  reflecting what I am drawn to capture in my own work….

How nice to unexpectedly find the inspiration of a kindred spirit…

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