Art We Love & Why – I Am a Camera
When photography first came along, many artists turned up their noses and asked, where’s the “art” in a photograph? Of course, over time photography came to be as respected as painting or sculpture. And the range of expression in photography over the past century has exploded. The works featured here only hint at the diverse ways that artists use photography to tell their stories. And lucky for us they’re all right here in Provincetown galleries.
Kimberly Witham, Garden Fantasia (photograph, 40” × 60″: ed. of 3; 24” × 36″: ed. of 5), Gary Marotta Fine Art
Kimberly Witham’s lush “flowerscapes” are an immersive experience—you want to dive right into the gorgeous array of blossoms. What appears at first glance to be a casually strewn pile of flowers is, upon deeper looking, a very deliberate and beautifully balanced composition. And what a color sense—in this case a symphony of amethyst and burgundy and crimson. But don’t just enjoy this image on your phone—these works are large, and you’ll be rewarded if you go stand in front of this wall of beauty and breathe it all in.
Jennifer Pritchard, Stay Here (photograph, 18” x 22.5”: ed. 1 (of 15), On Center Gallery
For anyone who thinks of photography as straightforward, Jennifer Pritchard’s work is a clear rebuttal. This moody, mysterious scene conjures up a film noir world, letting the imagination run wild. We are voyeurs, peering through raindrops on the lens of the camera. There’s poetry and beauty and emotion here, not to mention a marvelous color palate. Anyone can snap a picture, but it took an artist to create this photograph.
Amy Arbus, The Beast (photograph, 40” x 30”), Schoolhouse Gallery
How can anything so seemingly simple be so magical? Here is a black-and-white photograph of a tree—sounds pretty basic. But this piece is majestic and moving and powerful. It’s a portrait really, of a grand dame and an elder. Every photographer makes myriad choices in creating a photograph, and in Amy Arbus’s hands those choices are pure alchemy.
Shann Treadwell, Justin as “Alaska Thunderfuck 3000” (collaged photograph, 78″ x 35″) Treadwell Gallery
Portraiture is difficult. How do you capture a person’s essence in two dimensions? Shann Treadwell has taken a multidimensional approach here to capture the fierce and fabulous spirit of his subjects. By collaging multiple images, he gives the work an edge and literally allows us to see all the facets of the sitter. He plays with proportion (think Michelangelo’s David) to create a portrait that is both larger than life and true to the soul.
To find more Art We Love & Why from the archives go to: ART WE LOVE
George Rodgers is the ARTS Editor for ptownie.com and Managing Editor of the ptownie ART Issue magazine.