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Peter's and Gallery Picks of the Show
The Window Project
May 20 - June 15, 2014
Peter Marr and Gallery partners have made a selection of their favorites
from the Featured and Guest Photographers in the exhibit.
click here to return to the details of the exhibit
All images copyright by the individual photographers
Peter's Picks of the Exhibit
View from the Duomo
This delightful image is a wonderful example of the remarkable talents of a consummate artist, whose creative vision and photographic mastery are unsurpassed. In this print, through an historic arched window, the observer has an impressive view of a small section of the city of Florence that is dominated by a succession of picturesque rooftops, geometrically leading to the forested hills beyond. The curved roof tiles, resplendent in their bold reddish-orange hues, engagingly form a zigzag pattern, allowing the viewer to enjoy the details and intricate designs of each rooftop, before moving on to the next building, a process made all the more dramatic by the artist using a camera lens that gives just the right level of compression to maximize the architectural features of the houses. What makes this View from the Duomo so imposing and inspiring, is that Betsy used a foreground element, possibly a curved arched column, to block off roughly half of the window, so that the view was more like through a keyhole shape, rather than the whole window. Combined with the creative design qualities, this imaginative masking, importantly emphasizes that one is looking at only a small area of Florence, so what better than to look through a much smaller window to show this. This outstanding, powerful image, reminds me of the plight of Alice, from “Alice in Wonderland,” where she looks through a keyhole at the magical world beyond, a world she can only explore if she can find the key to unlock the door, and in addition, transform herself into the appropriate size. Here, in this captivating photograph, one does not have to change anything to view this lovely landscape through a part of a window, just use imagination and instill a strong desire to try and visit and explore this fascinating Italian city.
Peter A. Marr
What I love about this image is that it has both the qualities of vibrancy and tranquility, together with an aura of mystery, that opens up all avenues of interpretation and conjecture to explore in depth at one’s leisure. What is very important is that the soft lighting is truly magical, casting no harsh shadows, yet strong enough to reveal even the most subtle details of shape, form and texture. The weathered, painted side of probably an old barn, is replete with vertical striations and cracks that combine to form intricate artistic patterns that create a visual history and story of their own. In the lower half of the image, the forces of nature and the ageing characteristics of the white paint on wood, have both resulted in the creation of mysterious vertical designs. The latter are clearly composed of the original richly colored wood of the barn, and possibly reflects the wood’s desire to re-emerge into the daylight to escape from the white coating it was subjected to. Into this seemingly decaying landscape, the observer is strikingly aware of two small, virtually black rectangular windows, starkly set in a fashion as though they were artifacts glued to the surface, rather than being windows to the outside. There is no hint to their purpose, and being set so high on the barn siding, there is no revelation possible as to what may be inside the building itself. Why there are two small windows when one larger one would suffice is a total mystery? Nevertheless, incredibly, their presence is as though two eyes are staring at the world outside, and furthermore, these eyes are obscured with dark glasses, the vertical protuberances of which reach up to an imaginary nose bridge for support. It is very apparent that the two eyes have company, for to their left, two knots in the wood clearly are part of a naked torso, but with a little imagination, the knots could be the wooden siding’s very own eyes, struggling to see through the veil of white paint. The delicate color palette is entrancing, and the warm reddish hues of the revealed original wood are vibrant and imposing. I envision that the building itself, proud of its history and its original russet color, with the help of nature and the inevitable instability of the white paint, is clawing at the siding from the bottom, in an effort to revert back to its former glory. When this task is eventually accomplished, then the dark glasses will be removed, to reveal eyes that once again can be opened to proudly view the vistas beyond.
Peter A. Marr
This is a wonderfully appealing and artistically seen image, of the integration of two distinct cultures, that span centuries of time, in a powerful and intriguing manner. The backdrop to this compelling print, is the facade of an historic and architecturally significant building, of which we are privileged to see part of a massive vaulted arch, supported in part by an elegantly designed Doric column. The main structure supports a beautiful Venetian style window that is crowned by a large rounded arch and the window is protected by diagonally crossed metal mullions. Below the window is an elegant stone bench that is supported by 3 carved stone legs, the bench resting on the edge of a courtyard, the surface of which contains curved designs that reflect the design period of the building itself. Magically, Betsy has captured a half circle of sunlight that mirrors the curve of the window beyond, and strikingly illuminates the bench and its occupants. The viewer is very aware of two young people, a man and a woman, probably students, who are sitting on the bench enjoying the warm sunshine. The contrast between the two and to their surroundings is quite fascinating. The casually dressed young lady, her shoes placed under the bench, was studying from a large book before closing her eyes to relax in the warm sunshine. Apart from her dress, it would not be too difficult to imagine that such a scenario could have taken place hundreds of years ago in this historic setting. This would certainly not be true for the young man, who epitomizes the present generation in dramatic fashion, from the mode of dress, the sneakers on his feet, all the way to the ever present cell phone, seemingly attached to his ear, and to the cigarette dangling from his right hand. How representative this revealing print is of today’s lifestyle, when people seem to be oblivious of each other largely as a result of the intrusion of modern technology. You only have to look at the penetrating gaze of the gargoyle figure at the top right of the frame to draw one’s own conclusion. This is a stellar image, imaginatively seen and captured by the artist, that illustrates a window of time, both ancient and modern with compelling authority.
Peter A. Marr
Fishing in the Acre Harbor
David’s wonderful images that resulted from his trip to Israel, are both inspirational and emotional, so visitors to the Gallery might be surprised why I chose this particular print to comment on. For me, this is a serene seascape, equally full of hopefulness, sublime beauty and melodious emotion. It is a picture of poetic delicacy, calmness and tranquility, a precious time when a fisherman can isolate himself from the world, to be a small part of an idyllic setting away from all cares and worries, even though the moment may be fleeting, it is surely precious and memorable. I look upon this man as not just a fisherman, but as a conductor of an invisible orchestra, his upraised fishing rod being a baton that sweeps across the vast expanse, releasing his thoughts, his emotions, his wishes and his prayers into the great unknown. The color palette is resplendent, from the blues of the sea and cloudless sky, to the yellows and greens of the surface vegetation. I love the composition, where the high horizon line allows the viewer to embrace the rock shelf and inner harbor where the algae encrusted flat rocks and lake flora form beautiful intricate patterns that flow in harmony with the water. What really caught my eye was the symmetry and importance of the three rocks. One rock positioned behind the angler is in an ideal position to protect him from the sun and the prevailing wind, whereas the two sentinels in the foreground form the base of an impressive triangle that directs the viewer’s eyes to the fisherman. The two foreground rocks are very impressive, and one does not have to use much imagination to realize that they are very reminiscent of alligators, and their eyes are looking intently at the photographer, should he come too close. I have no doubt that with this entrancingly spectacular image, that the angler is in no danger, the alligators are purely there to preserve this splendid quiescent masterpiece.
Peter A. Marr
Gallery Picks of the Exhibit
Basket of Found Stones
This interesting photograph shows the juxtaposition of colorful stones enclosed by a jail – like basket. The strong vertical lines of the basket contrast sharply with the round stones. As we look at this photograph the viewer wonders whether the basket is protecting you from the stones, preventing the stones escape OR protecting the stones from the viewer. The plastic nature of the basket makes this photograph look like it could have been taken with the subject underwater. The subtle colors encourage careful consideration of the composition. The eye moves up and down along the lines provided by the basket’s strong structure while at the same time it is anchored by the equally strong colorful stones therein. Donna has given life to inanimate objects like stones and the components of the basket. It is a testament to Donna's skills that she has very effectively presented a subject matter that a less accomplished photographer might pass by looking for more conventional scenes.
Julie has a fine collection of images taken around Rochester. Night Life is my favorite of the group. This image would not have worked if it were taken during the day. The soft warm glow of the bus-stop-waiting station contrasts wonderfully with the cool blue winter evening with slick streets and snow embracing the bottom of the station. Similarly, the occupants of the station contradict the lack of anything alive outside its confines either human or mechanical. There’s life and warmth and conversation in this small pod. The green, brown, and yellow tones are contained within the capsule and it appears as if the bow of the submarine is plowing through the deep ocean and we are casual, unaware observers peeking into its confines. I enjoy images that tell a story and this one does for me.
Alight for Reflection, Reference #2,
Digitally Altered Image by Robert Then
This fascinating exhibit by Margaret Raab and Robert Then shows the collaboration between two very creative artists. It is interesting to see the creation of both photographic and none photographic media art being derived from a relatively straightforward photograph. This photograph in addition to being a wonderful image, allows the viewer to see behind the “smoke and mirrors” of the wonderful digital manipulation that Robert creates, by displaying the original image that was the source of the final image shown. The observer recognizes a butterfly… But is the butterfly in water, in a garden or in a phantasmagorical world? The colors of the butterfly are echoed in the surroundings and the strong graphic composition encourages the eye to finally center on the butterfly. One wonders if the original photograph is not seen, if this would lead to even more varied interpretations by the viewer. However, even by viewing the source material, the final photograph stands by itself as a wonderful demonstration of the creative process to complete a project that could proudly be displayed for daily viewing.