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Peter Marr's and Partners' Picks of the Show

Here, There, and Cuba

 Peter Marr and Gallery Partners have chosen their "Picks of the Show"
and present a commentary on their choices.

click here to return to the details of the exhibit

                                                                                                                                                                             

All images copyright by the individual photographers

Peter Marr's Picks

Havana Abstract by Jim Patton

Havana Abstract, Havana, Cuba
by Jim Patton

Well known for his creative and profound understanding of ethno-cultures in distant lands, it is a distinct privilege to view Jim’s outstanding photographs, resulting from a recent visit to Cuba. The prints, which reflect his passion for people, have a sense of wonder, vitality and vibrancy that is unsurpassed. In Havana Abstract, this stellar image could almost be titled, A Study in Red, Blue and Yellow, and perhaps Jim was being prophetic, for with the warming of relations between the United States and Cuba, we may one day see a similar photograph, titled as A Study in Red, White and Blue. The exceptional quality of the ambient illumination results in lovely visual continuity that accentuates the wonderful diversity of rich colors, values and textures. I particularly like how the large swathe of the yellow plastered wall, provides a delightful counterpoint to the bright yellow helmets the men are wearing. This entrancing image has an evocatively warm ambiance. This moment is timeless, and although we cannot see their faces, both men are enjoying every minute of their work experience. One senses that they are overjoyed to have a job, and although it probably does not pay highly, they have a passion and pride to plaster this almost monochromatic wall with a thick yellow covering, although they would prefer a color that is more intense, just like that of their helmets. Their colorful attire greatly complements the image, and there is the added element of a small, deep green bag, probably carrying their lunch, which hangs on the metal platform support, and gives further vibrancy to the entire scene. One is very cognizant of the fact that both men are somehow different in their approach to the job. The one on the left is probably the hard worker, with his safety harness firmly attached to the platform; his approach is to slap as much paste on the wall as possible, without worrying about getting the material on his sweater. On the other hand, his companion seems to be in a more supervisory role, more attuned to giving instructions than getting his hands dirty. Certainly, these observations are complete speculation, but what is certain is that this impressive image is remarkable and magical in every way, a great tribute to the visionary and artistic skills of the author.

Peter A. Marr


Misplacement by David Perlman

Misplacement
by David Perlman

This is a fascinating and intriguing visual study in which David’s meaningful art springs from an unrestricted awareness of the world around him. In admiring and analyzing this print, I am reminded of a quotation from Richard Fahey, namely “Perception is personal, we see what we see.” Rather than trying to interpret what the artist had in mind when he constructed this piece, the observer must ascertain for him or herself what they see in this impressive print. The reason for this is that memory is an important part of vision, and as each of us have different memories, what each viewer sees will be different from everybody else. For myself, I can visualize the grand fašade of a late Victorian-styled structure, dominated by tall, latticed windows and Palladian-styled columns that have subtle embellishments. What one sees of the stately front of the building is bereft of color, but the right hand side of the print is the angled corner of this edifice, which has a dull brown hue. The total image is viewed through a window lattice, that is deliberately out of focus, and in which, David has inserted in a single window pane, part of a rural farm scene. What is very apparent is that the print is dominated by powerful vertical and horizontal lines, and this is amplified by the fact that one is viewing the scene through a window with such design elements. These straight lines although stable and formal, tend to make people edgy and uneasy, especially when they encounter sharp corners. Jeff Berner wrote that “Looking is a gift, but seeing is a power,” and with this in mind, here is what I see in David’s print. This is definitely not a rich versus poor type of scenario. Rather, it is a rebellion against the incessant verticality of modern cities, where largely because of space restrictions, modern high rises and skyscrapers seem to dominate living and working habitats. David’s small rural setting, possibly a farm, represents a cry for help from concerned citizens, who want to get away from the stifling and suffocating fast pace of life in the cities, and learn to breathe all over again in a quieter and more eco-friendly environment. I really appreciate the author giving us all a chance to see a striking print for everyone to both admire and comment on.

Peter A. Marr

 

Havana Kitchen by Jim Patton


Havana Kitchen
by Jim Patton

All of Jim’s prints are truly exceptional, making the choice of selecting a second image to review extremely difficult, for I would love to write about all of them. I finally chose Havana Kitchen, for it is the one image that speaks to a way of life that is more typical of the vast majority of the Cuban populace, namely a poverty-induced existence that has changed little over countless years. The artist has brilliantly captured a haunting and poignant image that offers so much more than a pictorial representation of hardship and culture. Although one understands that in this environment there is constant struggle to make both ends meet, there is a quietness and entrancing quality to the print that heroically rises over the inevitability that times are tough and relentless. In this print, one is filled with quiet emotion, as we witness a woman sitting at the back of the kitchen, the latter being an area that she and her family members probably spend most of their time in. This room contains a wonderfully eclectic mixture of well-worn elements that have been passed down or acquired over many years. The viewable storage space is very limited, consisting of an old sideboard that has as series of cubbyholes that seem to hold day to day necessities rather than decorative items. The  back wall has a striking colorful covering, perhaps painted by a relative, which adds a distinguishing point of interest in comparison to the other wall, which is mostly bare except for a few hanging artifacts. The central well-used kitchen table sits on and between two differently patterned linoleum-tiled floorings. On this table sits a partially eaten chicken, and a circular painted tin tray that serves as a repository for left over scraps and bones. In the far corner sits an old refrigerator, sparsely decorated with a few stickers, the electric power cord disappearing into the ceiling tile above. At this point, a ray of hope for this impoverished family is clearly evident, namely one is aware of a new or virtually new refrigerator, sitting alongside its venerable compatriot. Joyously, the woman sitting at the back of the kitchen is on the telephone, with her eyes never wavering from the dazzling white appliance. It is easy to image the excitement and amazement that this lady is experiencing, and I am sure that she is telephoning all of her friends with the news. Jim has wonderously captured a happy decisive moment, and with this inspiring image, everyone hopes that this is a real light at the end of the tunnel for her and all of her family.

Peter A. Marr


Sea Salt by David Perlman


Sea Salt
by David Perlman

David has used his engineering and scientific talents, as well as his love of the creative arts to produce outstanding photographs and collages. He is renowned for montage and construction pieces that are often whimsical, but always thought provoking. When I viewed his work in this exhibition, it brought to mind a quotation from Erich Fromm, who stated “Creativity requires the courage to let go of certainties.” In Sea Salt, I was immediately struck by the high visual impact and  dynamism that this print exuded. Here, I was magically sailing in a small 2-funneled ship, heading across a rather calm sea, towards a series of dramatic and somewhat foreboding storm clouds, which glared menacingly over a narrow skyline that resulted from the rapidly disappearing sun’s rays reflected on the water. One was always aware that the engineering talents of the author cleverly constructed this vessel, but that certainly did not take away the fairy tale realism that I felt, the more that I perused this imposing print. What is amazing is the imagination that the author exploited to construct an almost believable small ship, and even going one step further, by using salt shakers for the 2-funnels, so that he could give the piece the clever and meaningful title of Sea Salt. The end result is a seaworthy vessel, small in size but resolute in purpose. I love the added touch of using a simple deck structure with its very own portholes, and including the funnels at a believable angle for a mighty ship of the sea.  This image is a great tribute to David’s imagination and his engineering and photographic skills.

Peter A. Marr


Peter Marr

We are very grateful to Peter for his thorough review and selection for Peter's Picks. Peter was born in England in 1935 and came to live in the United States in 1968. He worked for the Eastman Kodak Company for 34 years, retiring in 1998. During his employment and continuing into retirement, he has been an enthusiastic photographer. His photography has won him numerous awards throughout Kodak and in International Salons, including 5 George Eastman Medals, which is the top honor awarded to the most outstanding picture in the Annual Kodak International Salon. He has served as a judge in both local and international photographic competitions for the past 20 years, and is a Past president of the Kodak Camera Club and past chairman of many of the Kodak Camera Club organizations. In the past five years or so, he has devoted his photographic skills and interest into nature photography, notably bird photography. His bird photography has been the subject of several one-person exhibits, the most recent being at Ding Darling NWR, in Sanibel, Florida, The Roger Tory Peterson Institute in Jamestown, New York, and at the Webster Public Library in Webster, NY.
Gallery Partners' Picks
Tree on Hamlin Shore by Adrian DeJesus

Tree on Hamlin Shore
by Adrian DeJesus

 Adrian has created a beautiful image that captures both the deep, rooted quality of the tree and the movement in the unfolding of its branches. His choice of black and white focuses our attention on the graceful structure with no other distractions. The tree fills the frame, and yet there remains a wonderful simplicity. The tree’s base seems to flow into the earth, creating a strong stability. Behind the tree stretches the straight horizon and the lake – a calm transition from the earth to the cloudless sky. The spreading branches reach out in all directions with their flow outward and upward, still strongly connected to the base.

It might have been tempting to present the tree as a silhouette, but Adrian has skillfully used the full range of gray tones to create lightness in the branches that lets them float upward. Each branch keeps its shape and we can follow each one as it reaches to the sky.

It is a fine image, well captured, and skillfully printed!

Red Bicycle Series #8 by Nicholas Jospe

Red Bicycle Series #8
by Nicholas Jospe

This series of photographs is a wonderful portfolio of images taken by Nicholas during his bicycle rides. The focus is clearly on environmental portraits of bicycles, often in a whimsical and/or humorous way. Red Bicycle Series  #8 displays this whimsy with a juxtaposition of a red bicycle and a classic, iconic image from the famous painting American Gothic by Grant Wood.

References and parodies of this image have appeared frequently over subsequent generations; changing the faces of the models, the house in the background, etc. Nicholas has found a new and novel way of furthering the use of this iconic image by including a bicycle in his photograph. Photographs can have many different effects on people; we think of the horror of war, the joy of family events, the excitement of sports, beautiful scenery, etc. Nicholas’s photograph makes the viewer smile.

Photographically this is a very strong image; he frames the top and bottom in deep blue, the eye initially fixing on the two figures and then being surprised by seeing bicycle leaning against the painted wall.  The viewer continuously moves back and forth, looking at the eyes man than the eyes woman and then back to the bicycle and enjoying photograph the more they look at. Some people say that finding images like this one is luck: Nicholas’ portfolio demonstrates that the basis of his work is clearly a high degree of skill.

Nikki: Shadow and Lace by Jim Rappleye

Nikki: Shadow and Lace
by Jim Rappleye

This month Jim is presented a wonderful selection of photographs of the human form, a subject which he has clearly mastered. Nikki is an excellent example of Jim’s skill in the masterful way that he captures the model and the interaction of light and shadow with her form. His posing of the model introduces a strong feeling of mystery, as her face is not clearly shown but merely the curves of her back interacting with a draped lace cloth.

There is strong movement for the eye moving up and down her back, trying to peer through the shadows see as much of the model as possible. The large amount of black area with no detail frames the beautiful curves and shadows that Jim has employed in this photograph. The textural interaction between flesh and lace add even more to this photograph. Colors are muted, pastel‑like, which add to the overall beauty of the composition.

The human body has always challenged both painters and photographers, both the idealized and the realistic visions of models. Jim employs a realistic view of his models in his work, the photographs look like those of real women and not the airbrushed fantasy too often seen in magazines, including those focusing on high-fashion as well as “men’s magazines”.

  
 
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