12 June 2016
After noting it listed in a recent edition of Black+White Photography, the exhibition “Heroes” by Francesco Pergolesi found its way on to a to-do list for my recent weekend in Chicago. The Catherine Edelman Gallery in Chicago is a great space, clearly successfully selling contemporary photographers' work to collectors. It's good to see that photographers (plus their teams and agents) can make a living - contrast that to my recent blog about crowd-funding being used to support war photography.
Heroes is about the disappearing landscape of small artisan shops and businesses. Just like you or I might remember from travels in Southern Europe, the small shops of woodcarvers, tailors, grocers, etc. are a delight to see "in the flesh". Pergolesi's approach, however, working with the business owners and staff, creates a staged shoot highlighting details with saturated colours and golden light - made more potent by many of the images being displayed as transparencies in tiny light boxes. These vivid scenes are much better than those of my memories. If you do get to see the exhibition don't make the mistake I did - bring your reading glasses!
P.S. Check out the Catherine Edelman Gallery's “Ctrl+P Photography taken offline” feature. Started in January 2011, Ctrl+P provides exposure for new artists found on the web, exhibiting a selection of one person's work every two months. Right now the Ctrl-P gallery is “The Void” by Garrett O. Hansen and investigates the implications of the fact that there are enough guns - approximately 300 million - to arm nearly every man, woman, and child in the USA. Each of the images is created from individual bullet holes.
Image by Sean Goodhart LRPS