The images created by Ralph Gibson displayed at Camera Work are more than beautiful photographs, they are historic artworks. They came to give a final word in the silly discussion if photography should be seem as art or not. That’s why a exhibition that honors his work is so fascinating, not only for those who are interested in his importance for the photography history or those willing to learn more about his impressive technic. It’s a lesson of sensibility that reaches us all. It shows you how to appreciate the beauty of some simple things of your everyday life. And, if this is not art, I’m not sure what else is!
How Fun Can Portraits Be?
This is definitely a portrait exhibition. But maybe not in a way that you would expect. The pieces from Ralph Gibson demonstrate an intense link between the photographed people and their context: the relation with their personal objects or the places that are part of their routine. In most of the images, you can’t see the face of the photographed person properly. There are many closes-up of body-parts, portraits of someone looking away or even someone’s back. But even in the photographs that look more abstract, you can still feel a human presence, as if at any point someone would appear in the image. The spaces in the pictures are never empty.
One of the strongest images is one taken from “The Somnambulist,” that shows only a hand of someone standing behind a door. Hiding the eyes from the photographs, Gibson reveals the power of expression of other elements as, for example, the hands. With hands that touch, grab, point, they create a narrative that talks for itself. He found a way of cutting a piece of everyday life and registering it forever. Everything is really mysterious with a erotic undertone. The female nudes are one of the highlights of the
exhibition. Ralph Gibson said once that the form of a woman body is absolute and perfect. And he was really successful proving his point!
You definitely don’t want to miss this great exhibition at Camera Work. This is an invitation to experiment with new feelings and learn about life through human portraits.
Camera Work ”Ralph Gibson” June 16th – August 4th 2012, Tue – Sat: 11am – 6pm, and by appointment