Kyle Thompson is a young photographer on the rise. He began shooting at age 19 in his hometown of Chicago, Illinois, and in the last couple years has amassed a substantial body of work that shows a surprisingly adept and concise voice for such a young artist. This work, just released in a book titled Somewhere Else is comprised mostly of self-portraits taken in various abandoned locations found while on a road trip traveling the country.
The use of multiple-exposure techniques to create eerie, ghostlike effects in photography and film is a trope that most of us are familiar with. The work of photographer David Samuel Stern, however, stands out in that he eschews both the usual analog and digital means of achieving such effects. Instead, in his “Woven Portrait” series, Stern physically weaves together two prints of the same subject. The resulting portraits are intriguing and ghostly multi-perspective studies of Stern’s subjects, all of whom are representatives of the creative fields – artists, musicians, choreographers and poets, to name a few.
Chinese artist Liu Bolin is a chameleon. From a first glance, his most well-known works look like photos of newsstands and famous paintings. But as one looks closer, the artist’s body emerges, painted head-to-toe to blend in with his surroundings. It’s like when Duchamp scribbled R. Mutt on his famous urinal and deemed it art, except for Bolin forces his audience to contemplate mundane objects and scenarios in a fine art context by inserting himself into these scenes. The theme of disappearance is fundamental here, as Bolin chooses subjects that highlight the hidden ills often cloaked in attractive packaging and glossy images. His latest solo show, “A Colorful World?” at Klein Sun Gallery is decidedly politically charged.
While he works primarily in advertising and editorial photography, Richard Burbridge has a vision that’s distinctly his own, no matter who the client is. The photographer has been based in New York City since 1993 and has shot a slew of covers and fashion features for the likes of Italian Vogue and Dazed & Confused. Though he photographs models in luxurious couture, Burbridge throws traditional beauty conventions out the window. He often alters the models’ faces and bodies with surreal props — bondage masks, baby doll heads, food, foam and anything that will give his sitters an otherworldly appearance. Unafraid to violate the models’ pristine hair and clothing, Burbridge confronts viewers with the beauty within the ugliness (and vice versa) and creates images that challenge our expectations.
Emerging NYC-based artist Lala Abaddon’s journey through the art world started with analog photography and poetry. The idea of creating works that carry more than one story always fascinated her, and Abaddon felt like she found the answer when she wove her first piece. Interested in the process of deconstruction and reconstruction, she decided to cut up multiple existing photographs and weave them into new images.
You might get a jolt of déjà vu looking at Brazilian artist Lucio Carvalho’s photographic work. Significant images in his portfolio feature monuments of culture – a towering Tate, a sinewy Bilbao Guggenheim, a sun-reflected Louvre – contemporary institutions that have proved integral to the architecture of a city’s art scene. However, in each of these images, something is a little off – the usual foreground and background are hijacked with paraphernalia (shopping bags, STOP signs, yellow plastic chairs) that reveal no explicit tie to the museum or gallery. The images are both familiar and unfamiliar, not so much a trick of the eye as a trick of our cultural systems.