Monday, February 25, 2008

Pello Irazu and Kenneth Jacobsen at Yancey Richardson

Yancey Richardson has an intriguing show up now featuring two artists that, at first glance, wouldn't seem to relate, Pello Irazu and Kenneth Jacobsen. But they talk to each other beautifully thanks mostly to the brilliant collages that Jacobsen has done with postcards that are cut up and layered onto his own photos. Mr. Irazu's work involves his own photos onto which he has painted or airbrushed geometric shapes and trompe l'oeil wooden sculptures. The wooden sculptures relate to actual wooden sculptures that are in the gallery. I found this work to be visually engaging and pleasing to the eye, though I struggled to find a bigger philosophy behind the engaging geometry of them.

But Mr. Jacobsen's collages are another story altogether. This artist uses his photographs to enlessly ask us, what is a photograph? He inserts other photos, trompe l'oeil wall hangings, and, often, himself to force us to reimagine what is contained in the two dimensional photographic plane. The collages succeed in this questioning to a remarkable degree. Using a commercial postcard of a building or tableau as a start off point, he re-photographs the scene (sometimes holding the postcard in his hand withing the frame. Then, he cuts up the color postcard and inserts parts of it into the re-imagined black and white photo. What is the original photo? Which of these is a representation of reality? Where does one photo start and the other end? The questions that these photo-collages pose are unending and unendingly intriguing. This is great work and an eye-opener if you only know his earlier, Chicago-based work. Take a look....

Sunday, February 24, 2008

More Creative Destruction

I've been thinking a lot about my creative destruction posting. Now that the theme is in my head, I see the idea everywhere. There are obvious parallels like Gordon Matta-Clark and Rauschenberg photo-based combines. But how large is the field? Is there a large corner of the photo world in which artists deal with destruction of the photo as part of their practice? I thought that I would start to make a list that I would add to as I encounter new work. I would value suggestions of artists I have overlooked or of whom I'm unaware. It could be an engaging vista once we have a few dozen names.

Just to be clear, let's limit this list to artists who use photography or photographic materials in a way that tears, rips, punctures, slashes, or otherwise mars the paper. Simple collage is not enough. I would say that Hockney is a no while Samarras is a yes. Richard Prince is a no while Rauschenberg is a yes. It is not enough that the work is about destruction, there needs to be some work on the print as well. Matta-Clark is on the fence in this regard. I suspect further clarification will be necessary (and welcome as part of an ongoing dialog) as we continue, but that will suffice as a start.

My list part 1:

Robert Rauschenberg
Lucas Samarras
Gordon Matta-Clark
Marco Breuer
Douglas Gordon (the celebrity 8x10s with the eyes and mouths burned out and mounted on mirrors)
Chris McCaw
Felix Schramm
John Stezaker
Stephen Gill (Buried)
Helen Almeida (sewn photos)
Peter Beard
Ray K. Metzker (recent photo collages)

Your turn........

"Next Level" magazine and Thorsten Brinkmann

I am thrilled to report that my first published photo essay will be coming out next month in the UK magazine, Next Level. If you haven't seen this magazine, look for it. It is a beautifully produced and intelligently presented photo publication. The emphasis is on the photography with short, supplemental essays giving a little background and context. The list of artists they've spotted and supported early is an impressive one. Editor Sheyi Antony Bankale clearly has an eye and his fingers firmly on the pulse of the photo/art world.

My essay will be on the German artist, Thorsten Brinkmann, who has been mentioned in these pages before. I wrote an alternate essay for the magazine which I will reproduce here since they could only choose one. I will say as a caveat that Thorsten was not so thrilled with this essay, though I still think that it puts him in an interesting historical perspective and and rightly places him next to some greats of the art world. Those of you who read both the Next Level piece and this one, I would be eager to hear what you think of both.

Wit is the rarest of rare birds in photography. Elliot Erwitt displays it. Garry Winogrand is a master of it. Humor, too, is rare. I would differentiate them in a photo context by saying that humor is going for a laugh while wit represents some kind of ironic visual play. Winogrand is never humorous though often darkly witty. Erwitt is sometimes both. Both of these photographers are significantly different in style, but they share the fact that they find their scenarios in the real world; there are no studio or set shots. So rarer still is photographic wit in the studio. Phillippe Halsman comes to mind in Dali Atomicus or Nixon jumping. Who else? The field is tiny. For any photographer wanting to explore this world, the path is filled with peril. What artist wants his work looked at as cute or incidental? Jokes don’t translate well. Will a viewer in Japan find the work as witty as a viewer in Germany? And perhaps worst of all, what if the attempt at wit is understood but no one likes the joke. There’s no thud louder than the sound of a bad joke hitting the floor.

Enter Thorsten Brinkmann. Here is the confident hand of someone who knows the joke, knows just how to tell it, and, best of all, knows that there is something more to the story than just an easy laugh. Added to the mix is the fact that all the jokes are at his expense since every photo is a self-portrait.
Thorsten Brinkmann creates environments. He goes out to the junkyards, flea markets, and dumpsters of the world to find the materials for his art. With those materials he builds walls, floors, objets, and furniture; the full contents of a scavenger’s apartment. Of course every apartment needs something on the walls, so he hangs pictures of himself covered with more of the junk trouvé. Of course, the backdrops for the photos are created environments as well. A mirror in a mirror in a.....

We see the wit first. In Rain Mc Keul or hopi green holding kni he preens in a mock-heroic pose that harkens back to classical portraits of the 19th century like Velazquez and Courbet.

Rain Mc Keul

hopi green holding kni

In Bigi Di Innozencia and Henri Van Ed we see poses that would not be out of place in the Uffizzi.

Bigi Di Innozencia

Henri Van Ed

Brinkmann’s photos poke fun at himself and at these traditions. Yet the joke comes right back at us since he is upholstered behind what we have thrown away. The garish colors, cheap patterns, and texture of “real” vinyl contradict the luxe and private world that portraits like this usually reveal. Far from the castles and mansions that are haunted by portraits posed just like this, Brinkmann shows us ourselves as well. His wit is on display when he obscures himself behind the cast-off material of a consumer society. But behind the wit lies a dead on comment about dignity and individualism. The wit is just the camouflaged skin of a predator poised to go for the kill.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Madrid galleries during ARCO

A very belated and untimely addition to my first ARCO/Madrid post. There was much, much more on the trip than just going to the fair. I was traveling with a group from the International Center of Photography (ICP). In addition to the program that ARCO made available to us, ICP had some wonderful "backstage" visits to add to the trip.

It seems that private funding for art foundations by Spanish banks is alive and well. We started at Fundacion Astroc which had a display of works by Gabriele Basilico. Astroc awards a prize every year for architecturally related photography. Basilico was this year's winner. I can't say that I am an ardent fan of this photographer's work. While the images of Beirut are haunting and unforgettable, most of his cityscapes are under-realized. When I see most of his work, I can't help but think that I have seen similar ideas executed more convincingly by other photographers. Yaiji Matsue, Naoya Hatakeyama, and Robert Polidori are just a few that come to mind. Still, the Astroc Foundation is doing a fine thing by the supporting the arts in this way. They are housed in a truly magnificent villa in the center of Madrid. Any exhibition they mount would be worthwhile to go to just to see the space.

Another major funder of the arts, Caixa Forum, had the opening of its new, Heurog & de Meuron space near the Reina Sofia museum.

It is a dramatic and effective space, though, like many new celebrity architect museum spaces, the building is more of a star than the art inside. On view was a laundry list of well-known a-list art fair art, but mostly less-than-a-list examples. The best for me was a spectacular series of the the absolute best of UK artist, Gillian Wearing. The most effective of her series in which she transforms herself into various family members were all here. A treat to see them together. I hadn't gotten to see them together like this since I saw them in Arles 3 years ago. They are brilliant. (Caixa Forum Madrid)

ICP arranged behind the scenes viewings at the Reina Sofia, the Prado, and the Biblioteca Nacional. All of these visits were rare treats to see a side of a great institution that one doesn't usually get to see.

At Reina Sofia, we were greeted by chief photo curator, Catherine Coleman. She gave us a tour of the photo department that included a perusal of the portfolios of about 8 lesser known Spanish photographers. After that, we were led on a whirlwind walk-through the highlight of which was a private view of Picasso's Guernica. In addition to Guernica were two Coleman-created photo exhibits in support of the famous painting. The first was a photo essay by Dora Maar which traced the evolution of the paining as it was created. The second was an overview of newspaper photos and stories of the actual event that was the bombing of the small Spanish town of Guernica. Both shows were revelatory and significantly added to my understanding of the magnificent painting.

The Prado has just undergone a huge expansion and face lift. ICP arranged for us to have a tour of the building led by one of the principals from the architectural firm that designed the expansion. My favorite part of the tour was the the viewing of the conservation labs. Canvases in every stage of restoration were there to be seen on easals, lying flat, or unrolled for their frames. The tools of the conserver were everywhere: paint, solvents, bits of canvas, etc. It was remarkable to see the work in such a fragile, open state.

Isabel Ortega was our scholarly and helpful guide at the Biblioteca Nacional. She brought out a few rare volumes of paper negative prints by the Spanish photographer Juan Laurent. For those of you unfamiliar with this great 19th century artist's work, the Luminous Lint website describes him:

He opened a Daguerreotype studio in Paris under the name "Laurent & Company" in 1843. He moved to Spain and established a studio in Madrid in around 1857 and became one of the great photographers of nineteenth century Spain and Portugal. He took a vast variety of subjects including city views, architecture, historic monuments, old master paintings and local inhabitants of all social classes. His output was prolific and over 11,000 negatives have been attributed to the J. Laurent studio.

I can't tell you what a treat it was to see dozens and dozens of these masterpieces up close and out of frames. It was a highlight of the trip and not soon to be forgotten.

Gallery hopping was also on the agenda of this trip. Three favorites come to mind. First up was Galeria Elba Benitez who had an exhibition of Brazilian artist Ernesto Neto. In addition to the expected soft material/spice work was new sculptural work in cor-ten steel. Mr. Neto makes screen-like planes with numerous cutouts,

then uses the cut-outs themselves to build alternate, "negative" sculptures.
(again, sorry for the sidways pictures. I'm having trouble loading some pictures properly these days. I hope to get technical help to fix the problem soon.)
The Elba Benitez program is a truly remarkable one. Those of you not familiar with the gallery are encouraged to take a look. Though many of the names will be familiar, some others, like Ignasi Aballí, are well worth exploring. (

At Max Estrella we were introduced to Spanish artist Daniel Canogar. Mr. Canogar is an ICP graduate from the early '90's who works in the intersection of photography, video, and technology. It was an intriguing and fascinating exhibition from an artist that should have more play in the US. (Max Estrella Gallery)

Finally, we paid a visit to Galería Fucares. In addition to seeing works by my friend Isidro Blasco, we were introduced to the subtly conceptual work of Bleda y Rosa. The pieces we saw were photographs of ancient battle sites from Spanish history. The artists look for some tiny hints that this was a place where important battle had taken place that are now covered by centuries of growth and the encroachment of the modern world. I was not immediately won over, but found the work to be still on my mind days later. Always a good sign. Check it out. (Fucares)

All in all, a great trip, and a place to which I would be happy to return. The advance press on ARCO was accurate and positive, and the gallery scene is vibrant. There's a lot to see. Thanks to ICP for the value-added special events that were icing on an already delicious cake.

ARCO'08 musings

ARCO art fair has been on my list of must-see fairs for a few years now. I have a preference for fairs where there is an assortment of galleries that I won't see under other circumstances, where there is art that is chosen for more reasons than that it will be an easy sale, and where the vibe of the fair is one of exploration and discovery. I would put Berlin's Art Forum and Paris' FIAC in this category among the ones I've visited. ARCO always sounded like it would be just as good, and it didn't disappoint. The scale of the fair was large, but not so large as to feel beyond the scope of a human mind to see it all. It also felt that while it was inclusive, the participants had been vetted. The quality level was high. Still, as I said before, I love a fair where there are failures or risk of failure; where galleries take chances. The galleries may lose, but art wins.

In keeping with my unplanned side trip to Lisbon, I was excited to be introduced to a photographer named Daniel Blaufuks ( at Vera Cortés Gallery ( He is more of a mid-career artist, but better known in the Iberian peninsula than in the US. The work on view were beautifully realized examinations of soon-to-be-extinct photo materials. There was a brilliant image of a Polaroid film frame:

as well as this sheet of Kodak packaging:

In keeping with the idea that these are materials that are almost gone, the work was available in editions of 1. Going, going, gone...... I hope some smart US gallery picks him up. The work was conceptually strong as well as visually engaging. The prints were exquisite.

Galerie Grita Insam had a fascinating booth. First off was an installation by the artist Peter Sandbichler. He hand hammers the portraits of political prisoners into metal shelving. The panels can either be hung as a complete portrait or "shelved" as a metaphor for how we treat yesterday's news cycle.

Also in the booth were multiple works by Gerold Tagwerker. Mr Tagwerker explores the nature of architecture in our lives through sculpture, installations, reflective wall hangings, and photography. The work inter-relates in intriguing ways as he re-photographs buildings or models of buildings at the same time as he uses bent and pixelated mirrors to reflect the image back at us with our own image included in the frame. I was engaged and curious to see more.

But best to me in this booth was the very first Candida Höfer photograph I have ever enjoyed. I would include a reproduction here but it reproduces very badly. I will try to describe. It was a photo of a diorama such as one often finds in Europe where you climb stairs into a turret that has a painting or photo of a scene in a 360 degree view. Jeff Wall has a work dealing with this subject in which conservators are working on the painting. In Ms Höfer's work, we see the top of the staircase, a slice of the diorama, and a sign at the top of the stairs that states that photography is forbidden. It was so refreshing to see work by her that did not flog the usual territory of a vast, formal interior. Also, that this picture had a literal and figurative subtext was a treat to see. If this is a sign of what is to come from Candida Höfer, I can't wait.

To paraphrase Mark Twain, it seemed one could throw a brick in any direction and hit a Vik Muniz. Whether this was because Brazil was the theme of the fair or everyone had one to sell, I can't know. Still, it seemed to show his work at his best and at his worst. The fact that there were so many, points to a fact many critics have stated that he over-produces using a large, factory-like studio. It seemed at times that he was struggling to find new iconic images to recreate with some other material. The newer pictures in chocolate seem tired and pat. The map of the world using computer parts was impressive in scale, but explores no truths or ideas that Chris Jordan hasn't been exploring for years.

The best for me was at Albion Gallery. The drawings in dust of an art exhibition using the dust that has been vacuumed off the art are phenomenal. This is not new work, but has the most depth of any of his photo series since the "drawing material" is integral to the image seen. This one was an installation of Carl Andre. The precision corners of Andre's tiles rendered in soft dust that has been sucked of of them is just too good.

Rudolf Kicken had his usual exceptional fine booth. That I had seen much of the work before was nothing against him and only said that I had been going to too many fairs. The new treat for me was a Peter Keetman photo from the Volkswagen plant series. It evoked the graphical and pattern-out-of-life imagery that the best Callahan and Ray K. Metzker do for me. A remarkable vintage photo poorly reproduced here. If any of the nice folks at Kicken Gallery read this and would like to send me a jpeg, I will happily replace the image.

Crown Gallery from Brussels had a wonderful print from Paul Graham's American Night series. Titled Man by lumber yard looking back, Memphis, 2003, I was struck by how painterly this series is. I realized I had only experienced this work from the book. In person, the white "veil" truly obscures the scene in a real and metaphorical way. The figures in it seem drawn or painted or both. The scale is 3 bears perfect; not too big, not too small, just right. I went back to see it many times. there was much Paul Graham to be seen at the fair (Shimmer of Possibilities at Steidl and a number of galleries), but this was the real showstopper.

Last and very much not least, was Galerie 1900-2000 from Paris. They had a wall sort of tucked away in the back of the booth that, as one curator I was with noted, "I would be happy owning anything on this wall". The prince of this particular little realm for me was by Raoul Ubac. His Penthesilisée was a superior example of a superior photograph in superior condition. I could easily look at that photo for years, and I'm sorry I didn't have the coin to buy it. What a gem.

This put a fine period on a show that had great work by artists with whom I was unfamiliar to superb examples by established artists of iconic works. I've left out many fun things (Dionysio Gonzalez' "exploding" sculpture, Helen Almeida painted photos, Jesus Soto and Carlos Cruz-Diez op-art sculptures, and on and on), but to get the whole picture you're just gonna' have to go next year. I recommend it wholeheartedly.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Saving the day from travel chaos (Lisbon)

I had what in retrospect was a fanciful notion. I thought I could do a sideline trip to Bilbao on my way to the ARCO fair in Madrid. I made a couple of bad calls on the planning end. First, to save money on an upgraded ticket, I consented to go to Lisbon instead of Madrid. How hard could it be to get to Bilbao from Lisbon, I asked myself? Well, the answer is: impossible. (How many of these little travel disasters do I have to do before I learn that you HAVE to fly direct.) I had booked a flight from Lisbon to Madrid, then a round trip from Madrid to Bilbao. I built in a few hours between each flight figuring something would hold me up. What I didn´t count on was the snow and ice storm coming into the northeast corrider the day of my departure. To make a very long, dull story short, my plane sat on the tarmac for 6 hours before taking off. We were on the ground almost as long as we were in the air! I arrived in Lisbon slightly late to catch my Madrid-Bilbao flight. The challenge now would be to get to Madrid at all. Next flight available in my fare class: 8:35pm.

Hmmmm......6 hours to kill in Lisbon. Only one answer came to mind; go to the Gulbenkian Museums and see what was up. It was the day´s salvation. The Gulbenkian proper had it´s well-known classics. I was bouyed by some first-rate Turners and Gainsboroughs then completely seduced by the Lalique room. In particular, a deco mirror in bronze that had the glass supported by two intertwined snakes. Brilliant.

I was also drawn to a painting of "Painter Brown and his family" by Giovanni Boldini. The work was proto-photo realistic and had a feel of a Weegee or Winogrand photo. For a painting, it had a remarkable sense of a moment stolen on the fly; a great sense of motion and spontaneity. I was particularly struck by the use of negative space to the left. It gave the painting such urgency and speed. The figures just can't wait to get to the other side of the frame. A treat.

Then I dropped in on the contemporary museum that shares the grounds with the Gulbenkian. There was a video art survey on that included some intriguing work by David Claerbout, Rodney Graham, and a stunner from Laurent Grasso. The video showed a retreating camera view of an approaching, roiling dust cloud. Whether it was from a natural disaster, a bomb, or a nightmare was not clear. But the ominous, looming presence was a real imagination grabber.

Melik Ohanian´s pictureless video was literally and figuratively dark. The screen was blank except for white highlighted text that limned the voices you could hear on the audio track. The sequence and lack of context made the text into a new narrative. Some of the voices were familiar but, in this presentation, all but a few of them were anonymous, vernacular sounds. I wish I could have stayed for more. This was the view of the video installation. Sorry it's the wrong way around, but you get the idea. It's my homage to Casebere:

Elsewhere in the Contemporary Museum was a mirror sculpture by Jose Pedro Croft. A good, eye-bending piece. I love the geometric grid framing the bent, canted space created by the mirror.

Also catching my eye was a series of photos by Helena Almeida. She started with a drawn line, that she transforms into a thread, which becomes a literal thread which punctures the photo literally piercing the 2 dimensional plane. I seem to have a thing for this kind of work lately, and I think this was a particularly strong example of the oeuvre.

ARCO reports coming in a few days.......

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Some photographers I like (Erroi, Kerstens, Hibi)

I thought I would write some short paragraphs on a few photographers I know and like. They are not exactly unknown, but they may not be on everyone's radar to the degree that they deserve. I intend to make this a regular addition to Fugitive Vision. Stay tuned for more names.

Christian Erroi is a Swiss/Italian artist who lives and works in NYC. My favorite of his series is “As Above”. It communicates at many levels. On the surface, it has beauty and appeal for the eye. On a deeper level, one relates to the work as a metaphor for Mr. Erroi’s relationship with the world vis-à-vis his multiple neurological events (he has had dozens and dozens of strokes). On a third level, the presentation of the series as a three dimensional work lends a sculptural dimension to the “flat” world of photographic presentation. I find that there is also a relationship between the sandwiched presentation of the work and the glass slides and Petri dishes that the neurological side of the work references. Taken together, this work presents in a way that is unique in my experience. Check him out at:

Hendrik Kerstens has been photographing his daughter for the last 15 years. In a simple way this puts him in the tradition of Nicholas Nixon, Sally Mann, and Emmit Gowin. What is different is that he has posed and costumed her in endless variations that play on her identity and representation. Some who have viewed his work have confessed to me that they find this obsessive gaze on his daughter to be a bit creepy and disturbing. I disagree. I have met subject and artist many times, and I have never gotten any sense that there is something amiss in their relationship. Still, the fact that the sitter is the artist's daughter adds tension and mystery to the work. Seen together, the whole series is a remarkable survey of a young life, and artistic vision, and a document of growing to young adulthood.

Yuichi Hibi is a Japanese artist who lives and works in NYC. He has had two books published by Nazraeli Press, the best known of which is "Imprint", and third one is due out soon. I have had the pleasure to see that work plus two more as yet unpublished series. The first is called "Arrigato" and the second is "Hiroshima". "Arrigato" is an autobiographical survey and "Hiroshima" is an essay on the nature of a city that has weathered a cataclysmic event. I wish I had images to show here, but please seek the work to see yourself. It is subtle, beautiful, mysterious and beautifully printed. Some important curators are behind this artist's work. Though he does have gallery representation, so far no NYC gallery has given him the show he deserves. I predict that will change. The Link is to Gallery339 in Philadelphia. Check it out.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Creative destruction

I saw some intriguing work at Peer Gallery on Saturday by Chris McCaw ( Mr. McCaw was the beneficiary of a fortuitous accident. He fell asleep at the beach while his camera shutter was open and set to infinity. He woke up to find his camera smoking. The lens had caught the sun at a particular angle allowing it to act as a magnifying glass. The resulting focused light actually burned through the film in the camera. He started to play with the process which brought him to this work where he loads the camera with photo paper rather than film. The camera obscura image that results is literally burned by the light. What seems like a Lucio Fontana-like slash across the paper has been produced entirely photographically. Really fun and beautiful.

I seem to be attracted to this kind of artistic destruction lately. Marco Breuer's work is an obvious parallel. Though very different in process and look, they share a gleeful disregard for the surface of the paper. I love his abstractions and erased-through workings. Also, I mentioned Felix Schramm in a previous post from Miami. His torn and collaged photos from installations that themselves seem torn and collaged are very strong and somehow in the same world.

Not a photograph, but very much in my eye these days is the work of Nancy Brooks Brody. I saw her sewn drawings in Miami at Virgil de Voldere Gallery in Miami Pulse, and then again at the best of 2007 show at White Columns.When I visited the gallery in New York, I was treated to work on paper that had been torn in two then stapled or sewn back together. The allegory of a wound so jaggedly repaired is difficult to look at. Though it's just paper, it seems raw and human. Well worth looking at.

Marvelling at obsession at Marvelli

I was lucky to catch the tail end of a wonderful show yesterday at Marvelli Gallery in Chelsea. Titled "L'Amour Fou", it featured the works of three artists who share an obsessive passion at viewing women. The obsession of Miroslav Tichy is perhaps the most disconcerting. His outsider art status has been confirmed in many books and exhibitions. Whether or not he is actually mentally disturbed is the subject of speculation. What we know is that he lives on the margins of society, makes his own cameras out of found objects, and creates stalker like photos of women who seem to not be aware that they are being photographed. The grainy, faded photos, on torn and damaged paper have a visceral feel that pack a pervie punch. They are compelling.

It has been much discussed in photo circles how much Gerard P. Fieret and Tichy have in common. They have a surface similarity in that their photos seem to be taken without artifice; a certain kind of naivité. They also share a passion for looking at women. For me, this is where most similarities stop. Mr. Fieret takes most of his shots in a studio. Clearly he has a relationship with the women he photographs. They are obviously aware they are being photographed, they seem at ease and playful. I can guess that he has enough charm that these models were all convinced to come to be shot. This is a long way from the pervie, loner vibe that comes off of Tichy's photos. Fieret, too, seems to be at the fringe of society, but maybe by choice rather than because he can't fit in. Also, he uses his models as formal studies. While his gaze is sexual, he also lets us dissociate from the body and see the women as pure shape and motion. Mr. Marvelli has found some gems to display; mini masterpieces. The street scene with a group of animated women in a seemingly casual grouping is not less than the best Winogrand. A portrait of a woman with her tongue out, Fieret's signature signature blazed across her bosom, and a formal device of a white bar across the top of the frame is a period classic.

Last, and completely unknown to me, was the work of Carlo Mollino. Mr. Marvelli informed me that Mollino rented a space expressly to use for bringing prostitutes whom he had hired to be photographed. These photos certainly fit the theme of obsession and obsessive looking at women, but they failed to engage me on as many levels as the Tichy and Fieret work. Still, it was a pleasure to see work with which I was unfamiliar, and it was a bigger pleasure to see a small exhibit put together with such care and intelligence.

Also on view at the Marvelli gallery were the smart and engaging portraits of European migrant workers done by Ingar Krauss. This work breaks no new ground in the art world, yet I found them to be eloquent, understated portraits. I was moved to look for longer than I expected and then came back for a second look later. Very fine work.