Photographer James Florio created the series Homeless in Orlando. Alternating between slides of text and black and white photographs. The series captures the home and life of a homeless couple, Robert and Heather. Robert and Heather live in the woods of Orlando, Florida. The words and images describe the events that led to their home among the urban forests of the über-developed tourist hub.
The series feels much more like a film with its strong and touching narrative. Using a minimal amount of words and elegant photographs, Florio presents Robert and Heather in a way that is surprisingly emotionally engaging. He shows how typically simple tasks such as taking a shower, can become absurdly challenging. Homeless in Orlando provides a rare insight and is especially affecting. The rest of the Robert and Heather’s story unfolds after the jump. You’ll want to see it through to the last image.
The medium of artist Caroline Slotte is a familiar one. Dishes commonly found in homes and thrift shops become surprising dioramas. The simple images usually hidden under food become multilayered narratives. The many memories associated with family meals, dinner parties, milestone celebrations aren’t lost on Slotte. She says of her medium choice:
” Objects in our private sphere stir feelings in us and connect us to our history. They are tangible reminders of the past, of our own life story, and that of the family. In this way the most humble object can function as a key to the past, as a key to our inner.”
Matt Perrin believes in the magic of classic photography. Perrin decidedly does not use Photoshop or manipulate his photographs once the shutter clicks. Rather, he fully utilizes the simple features of his camera and experimental lighting to create his dreamy images. His photographs glow like cosmic abstractions. Perrin is intentionally ambiguous as to the exact nature of his subject matter. Rather, he encourages a more open reading similar to abstract painting. He says of his process:
” Any object seen, in any photograph, was physically in front of the lens when the shutter opened and closed. It’s the twists and turns that have occurred between those points that have brought you here today.”
Randy Grskovic rearranges family photographs. He slices found photographs into geometric abstractions. What were once cherished images of memories are now emptied of their sentimental meaning. Grskovic’s collages draw attention to the process of photographing ourselves – making images of ourselves for posterity. While photographs are often considered true and trusted documents of past events, Grskovic’s work encourages viewers to be skeptical of the idea of their objective nature. He says:
“The memory has changed and so has the document. The photograph as well as any other document is never an accurate depiction of truth.” [via]
The work of Stéphane Vigny is often humorous in its subversiveness. Vigny often undermines the purpose of objects to create amusing but thought provoking new ‘purposes’ (like a BMW turned into playground equipment). Other times Vigny alters objects in a way that make them profoundly useless (such as a chair on wheels the size of the room it sits in). Commodities and inanimate objects are typically entirely defined by their purpose, what they do. Vigny’s installations, though, force viewers to set aside their expectations and approach the familiar in a new way.
Korean artist JeongMoon Choi uses surprisingly simple materials to create installations that appear to be pulled off the computer screen. Simply using thread and UV lights JeongMoon illuminates complex geometric patterns. The arranged thread patterns glow against the dark space at times resembling three dimensional plans. Her installations explore the gallery space, both literally and conceptually. Glowing angles bounce off walls and ceilings emphasizing an architectural space that typically tries to not attract notice.
The work of Stefanie Gutheil is a wonderful mess. Her current exhibit at the Mike Weiss gallery has the atmosphere of the precise moment a party becomes a riot. Gutheil’s paintings incorporate fleshy globs of oil and acrylic paint, fabric, glitter, hair, and fur. The seemingly turbid materials match the paintings’ libidinous subject matter. Even some of the paintings frames only seem to exist in order to be defied – cat’s tails, pants, hats all push past gilded frames and off the canvas. In what she portrays and how she portrays it, Gutheil’s work pinpoints a curious place precisely between fun and horror – the moment before the last finger loses its grip.
The story of Meghan Howland‘s oil paintings are quiet like a secret. Her work captures understated dreamy scenes. A confusion of birds, hidden faces, a scarf that may or may not be choking its wearer – her work at once is lighthearted and hints at a darker undercurrent.
Her gallery relates, “Her paintings are often dreamlike, and yet carry a weight of something that is slightly more dissonant. The question of whether something is safe or dangerous, loving or hateful, is often unexplained in her work.”
A snapshot quality to the image, fill flash like lighting, lends the paintings the characteristic of a caught instant. However, her painterly hand stretches the moment. While definitely working a contemporary aesthetic, Howland’s paintings are at times reminiscent of Degas’ style and palette.