April 11, 2013 § Leave a Comment
As John Wood writes in his introduction: John Metoyer is one of the great photographic geniuses of our time and one of those exceptionally rare artists of the last few centuries who can genuinely be considered a master of more than one art–in his case, photography and poetry….This book celebrates his work in both arts, two arts which for Metoyer are completely separate and have nothing in common but their creator. His photographs do not illustrate his poems nor is his poetry a commentary on his photography. They are merely separate manifestations of a similar genius.
Metoyer was born in Chicago in 1966 and grew up there; however, his roots were in Creole Louisiana. Since the mid-eighteenth century his family lived in and around Yucca (later renamed Melrose), their ancestral plantation, and many of his relatives still live there. Of all the plantations of Louisiana, Melrose is perhaps the most fascinating and most atypical because it was not the product of a white patriarchy but of a Black matriarchy. « Read the rest of this entry »
March 26, 2013 § Leave a Comment
“The word Surrealism used in reference to the 20th Century art movement founded by André Breton is a useful term. Used elsewhere, it is less so and means little more than “strange.” In fact, the word has become virtually meaningless because it only suggests that the artist’s imagery combines aspects of the world in ways that do not exactly mimic everyday reality—but that is what every painting and every other work of visual art does to some degree. All visual art has an element of strangeness about it, if only because three dimensional objects are transformed into two or flesh is changed into paint, marble, bronze, wood, ivory, steel, and so forth. The visual arts are by definition a strange-making of the world. And so are poetry and fiction. And that is their thrill and their power. That is why we like them, why we need them. They free us from the quotidian reality of our own lives by giving us something that seems more true, more real, and more meaningful—even in their depiction of lives as commonplace as our own. That is the way of art because it demands artifice and structure while life only demands continued biological functions. Though art only mimics life, at times it can seem more vital, more alive, than the real thing.”
March 14, 2013 § Leave a Comment
Gorman’s greatness—and he is as genuinely great as any living photographer—derives from his amazing ability to catch the essence of his model. The pictures of Tony and Rex and Gregory in this volume; his well-known nude torso of Iman, a portrait of the essence of feminine allure; Elton John, his eyes closed as if in a moment of ecstasy; Brigitte Nielsen nude and looking like an Amazon colossal in her power; or the closely cropped, full face portrait of Leonardo Di Caprio exuding the most intense sexualityare iconic images that people will still be looking at a hundred years from now, looking at when they no longer can recall who these people were or why there were important to us. These pictures will still speak because others will continue to recognize in them what they are actually about—not celebrity, fame, or even the particular individual but something fundamental about the human species regardless of the century. These are portraits of allure, ecstasy, power, and sexuality because Gorman’s portraiture extracts something essential from the individual. His portraits may be of the famous and the beautiful, but his art, like the art of the great portrait painters, is rooted in our humanity.
February 28, 2013 § Leave a Comment
Listening to the Earth can be seen as a lament for what man has done to Gaia, the living planet, the Mother of us all; it can be viewed as a sad farewell, a portrait of planetary wreckage and the twilight of humankind. But ParkeHarrison’s genius is that his work can also be seen as a new genesis—the creation of a world, the molding of nature, and the making of sacrifice. He chronicles the preparation and readying of the earth for man, the making of light and wind and rain, a creator’s sowing, pollinating, tilling the earth, and writing the wind’s words into his great book. By this reading of Listening to the Earth, we see not a ruined, destroyed world being listened to for some sound of life by the last man, but the creator himself kneeling down listening to the roaring land he has fashioned. It is here that ParkeHarrison, the sacred metaphysician, suggests the very remedy for the mistakes and horrors that have plagued us and ravaged the planet. Listening to the Earth is a literal prescription for salvation; it tells us exactly what we need to do, exactly what we must do if we are to survive. That ParkeHarrison can fuse both readings into a single work—and that he does it in photograph after photograph—is his most amazing accomplishment. He warns us but gives us hope simultaneously.
January 11, 2013 § Leave a Comment
We hope you will join us in Santa Monica at PHOTO LA opening next week.
During this year’s PHOTO LA 21st Editions is sponsoring lectures by Josephine Sacabo and Meg Partridge.
On Saturday, January 19th from 11:30am – 1:00pm, filmmaker and Director of the Imogen Cunningham Trust, Meg Partridge will speak about her father, Rondal Partridge, his work and his seventy-plus years making a living as a working photographer. Rondal Partridge is the son of Imogen Cunningham and his mentors and colleagues included Ansel Adams, Dorothea Lange and Edward Weston. The talk will feature Rondal’s recent project with 21st Editions: The Symmetry of Endeavor.
November 29, 2012 § Leave a Comment
We hope you will join us in Miami Beach at the Select Fair running concurrently with Art Basel Miami Beach.
The Select Fair opens Wednesday, December 5 and runs through Sunday, December 9. This exciting new show is located just one block from Art Basel Miami Beach at the Catalina Hotel on Collins Avenue. 21st Editions will be in room 106. « Read the rest of this entry »
November 20, 2012 § Leave a Comment
David Halliday, I am certain, is the greatest master of the still life that photography has yet produced. But more than that he is probably the great photographer of joy, as well. I am talking here of serious joy—not an armload of puppies, a kitten in a ladle of pasta, kissing children, or anything to which the word cute might be applied. Though joyful, his work has about it the seriousness of the spiritual. His imagery is constructed from many of life’s most perfect, simple, yet most elemental objects—the rose, the egg, the bottle of milk, the loaf of bread. « Read the rest of this entry »