Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Photography in 2011 and the Addison Woolley Gallery

Lately I've felt photographically challenged.
The Addison Woolley Gallery

Not in the taking of the pictures but in the ideology of photographic art.
It seems now if you have a smidgin of an eye (not required) and a camera phone (required) you can snap and post any picture as art on Facebook and be instantly recognized as a photo artist. That's powerfully cool but it's not for everyone.   

My view changed Yesterday I read a quotation from Walker Evans 
" Whether he is an artist or not,
the photographer is a joyous sensualist, 
for that simple reason that the eye traffics feelings, not thoughts"

Fran Vita-Taylor 
Now enter Portland's Addison Woolley Gallery (AWG), located right on Washington Ave on Monjoy hill, The AWG could be the premier gallery for Portland's elite photo artists.   It starts with the artist but in reality the artist doesn't "get show" unless the curator sees something that stirs emotion.  "Emphemeral Nature & Surrealligories" is the title of the current show and it has the ability to emote.   This two artist show with only 12 images is subtly powerful.  The photographic artists are peas in a pod and yin and yang simultaneously.  The artists offer images that are JOYOUSLY SENSUAL and quite different, one commonality is both involve creative composition as a main ingredient. Woolley founder and curator Susan Porter recognized that and has hung one powerful show, I for one am very thankful.
Detail from Darrell Taylor's Transfiguration, Assumption ...
  The show has the larger than "Sill life" photos of Fran Vita - Taylor (Ephemeral Nature) .  I can describe Fran's work in four words; Big, Bold, Colorful, Composed!   The Yang to Fran's Yin is the "Surreallegories" from Darrell Taylor   What's a surreallegory?   Well I can discribe it as "collage photo meets where's waldo & has several adult beverages".  First off it's big 2 foot x 9 foot photo murals, secondly they are just FUN. Darrell Taylor shows off his prowess as a photographer, photocollage creator & photoshop manipulator par-excellence!  Each photomural has hundreds of images melded -merged -humorously poised to create a new form of photo art, a refreshingly fun take at photo art.  In conversation with Darrell he mentioned that he felt like a painter he just uses photos instead of pigment to create his new age "photage frescoes".  For a bigger taste of the images click on the above Surreallegories hyper-link it will take you to this cool mural gallery page with software that allows you to cruise and zoom in to view the image to your hearts content!  Try to find Sara Palin sporting a mid 1930's pro German arm band . Or look for Dubi's Empire State building at the gateway to the shopping mall in heaven.  Its all there this month at the Addison Woolley Gallery.  Where larger than still life hangs with photocollage art.  It all gushes creativity, composition & humor, in large scale and/or panoramic format, it's guaranteed to make Walker Evans proud whilst "trafficking feelings".   

Why go to the Addison Woolley Gallery to see the show "Ephemeral Nature & Sureallagories"  
Because your good mind needs good art! 

The Gallery Talk is made possible by the generosity of the WMPG Radio listening community.  The blog is the text version of the art rant heard every Thursday at 7am, 5 & 9:30pm on WMPG college and community radio
Broadcasting from the University of Southern Maine
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