"The Beautiful and the Good"
Opening Reception 04.05.13
Exhibiting 04.05.13 – 05.31.13
"Beautiful"—together with "graceful" and "pretty," or "sublime," "marvelous,"
"superb," and similar expressions—is an adjective that we often employ to indicate something that we like. In this sense,
it seems that what is beautiful is the same as what is good. In fact, in most historical periods there was a close link between
the Beautiful and the Good. –from History of Beauty by Umberto Eco
Beauty does not always correspond to what we see superficially. Socrates was notoriously ugly, but was said to shine with an
inner beauty, and Plato believed that the sight of the "senses" must be overcome by intellectual sight.
In Jennifer’s portraits, she is seeking an ideal beauty through a synthesis of a pleasing physical body, and a spirit that is good.
This synthesis expresses a Psychological Beauty that harmonizes body and soul. Each one illuminating the other.
Jennifer has painted and studied art throughout the world, living in 15 different countries in the last fourteen years. She has been inspired to see the differences in what people create in various parts of the world at the same time. What has been the most amazing, however, is seeing the strain of similarity running through it—the whole experience has been like looking into the face of the Zeitgeist.
Maybe Jennifer views the Zeitgeist as a woman, because this is what she most often paints. Jennifer paint portraits, and has found that the image of the woman is really a symbol for some greater idea that she is trying to express. Balance, underlying symmetry, and the effect of color and texture are of equal importance in the image. These are portraits, but Jennifer hopes they effectively evoke a mood that can encompass many different interpretations, in the way of abstract art. Always, no matter what she is painting, the process of creation is ever-present in her mind.
The process of painting is, for Jennifer, the most meaningful part of the sum of the finished painting. She is always amazed by the way that we can take a piece of canvas, and at the end of some focus and diligence, create a person looking back at us, expressing something we instilled in them. Jennifer leaves some exposed canvas, parts of the palate (she likes to paint directly from there), and various layers of the process visible, because this lets the act of creation shine through. Jennifer began doing this because she found that as she covered all evidence of the creation, something of the image actually died and went flat. Whatever the reason, the painting seems more wholly beautiful when its pieces and parts are revealed.
All this talk of beauty can begin to sound somewhat superficial, but Jennifer means it in the most important way. We have always created and value beauty, and she loves the fact that, no matter what, we just keep doing it. That is what makes us all beautiful. Undeniably true.
Blue Skies/Black Death
Opening Reception 12.07.12
Exhibiting 12.07.12 – 01.25.13
"BLUE SKIES / BLACK DEATH" is an exhibition of new work by Noelle Mason investigating imaging as a document for
corporeal experience of space and time by way of two different photographic methods: pigment print and photogravure. The exhibition
title itself references the engagement of body, time and space as the term "œblue skies/black death" (originating from the
parachute infantry motto "Mors Ab Alto" in Latin, or "death from above" is familiar to skydivers as a
greeting/farewell, and to indicate a fatality during a skydive.
The photographic series "Decision Altitude" returns to the foundational beginnings of photographic representation:
the pinhole camera. The title refers both to the altitude at which a skydiver must begin emergency procedures and the photographerr's
decisive moment described by Henri Cartier-Bresson. His highly influential text came in response to the advancement in negative film
processes and faster lenses. There was suddenly a means to capture what had previously eluded the human eye; a moment of clarity only
the camera could harness and make static. Most modern skydiving photography stops time through rapid shutter speed. By comparison, the lens-less pinhole camera demands a three second exposure which allows the film to document 500 feet of free-fall at speeds exceeding
150 miles per hour. Mason uses the primitive pinhole camera to depict the incomprehensible space and compression of time between
jumping out of a plane and saving your own life. In this space the view of earth from above is a combination of aerodynamics and
In the Spotlight and Floaters
Opening Reception 02.01.13
Exhibiting 02.01.13 – 03.29.13
Camille will show at gallery406 two separate but related portfolios of photographs. Each set of prints depicts dreamlike, amorphous spaces in which two worlds collide: that of the familiar organic world of everyday objects that surrounds us and that of the cold slick advertising world of the mass media.
"IN THE SPOTLIGHT" is a set of digital prints based on close ups of objects that Camille shoots in her home, work and street environments. She scans her black and white gelatin silver prints into the computer, where she inserts images she has cut out of the mass media into the abstract spaces. The portfolio, "FLOATERS," consists of black and white gelatin silver prints that Camille has created and then hand colored and collaged. For these she shoots the patterns of light and shade found on a screen porch that is surrounded by a lush grove of bamboo trees. On the table, chairs, and floor she has placed images of the human body she has cut, as in the digital prints, from the mass media.
Elusive and mysterious, centered on floating and fragmented imagery, the prints in both portfolios are compelling and interesting on some level other than the material and visual surface of things. There are more things invisible than visible in our world. The human mind has always circled around these things, but it is only art that can deal with them in a meaningful and provocative way.