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....

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