"Sexy, surprising, mysterious, funny, haunting, thoughtful and inspiring ... just like a woman," is how Byrd describes the show, yet she has perceptively orchestrated a show that is not exclusively about, of or for women. Photographs by Women includes a rich range of work exploring and giving expression to women behind the scenes as well as in the spotlight.
Although not directly visible, a woman's presence is felt in Jamie Lewis' "21," in which a refrigerator door opens to welcome the final entrance into adulthood with a number-candle planted in the luminous red gel smothering a homemade birthday cake. A light-hearted sarcasm also follows in "Busy Signal," where a telephone receiver has been abandoned to the pedicured toes of an unidentified lady.
More directly, woman is celebrated as powerful and autonomous in the works of Shelia Turner. One of the most humorous and musical images in the show, "Kiss My Grits," is a series of prints unleashing the beautiful abandon of a dark-skinned woman playfully smothered in the chunky, white meal. Just as theatrical, Corinne Adams pulls hands, masks and blank stares out of her "Shadow Series" to dare the viewer for a dance.
Opposite those encounters, Tova Baruch's prints from her "Coney Island" series courageously confront the viewer as if a longtime friend. Demanding attention with bold colors and candid close-ups, Baruch seizes the ageless sentiment of a summer parade, where an elderly woman boasting a purple bathing suit and green net cape in "Super Woman" is as vivacious as the wind-blown angel in "Red-Haired Girl."
The moments captured by Jill Corson's lens are never static, as objects refract their forms and hues spill into one another. As if she had intentionally scattered paints across the print, the primary colors and tumbling shapes create a dynamic scene with layered texture. The storefront reflection of "Deluca's Market" reveals a magical world where cars overflow with broccoli and pick-up trucks park on a bin of tomatoes. Corson conflates the edible bounty of a grocery store with the mechanical motion of a street, gracefully invading the boundaries of physical space.
European urbanscapes are explored from a more romantic perspective in Jennifer Julian's "Walk at Versailles" and Megan Stine's "Venice Bridge." Classically black-and-white and balanced in composition, these images are also intimately positioned. Also suggesting the photographer's subjective view, Reisa McFarland's "A Day in the Park" conjures a personal nostalgia, blurring the edges of an elderly couple receding into the distance.
Age is explored at every stage in the show. Nancy Butler's sensual black-and-white images cement nubile bodies into statues. The identity of young "Emily" is frozen between a prepubescent belly and a suggestively budding bossom, and she is caught in "Contemplation" like a mythological figure. Similarly, in Bobbi Dimond's black-and-white infrared print of "Dutch Daughter," a blond, beautified girl remains permanently poised at the entrance of a cinematic secret garden.
In contrast, the natural hues of Marcia Blake's "Autumn 1" and "Autumn 2" invoke the vivid, growing grooves of wisdom in weathered skin and tree leaf veins. And Sandra Richardson's organically toned "Bernadette at 84" series releases the woman's old torso into elegant and ethereal floating poses.
No timid gestures or coy plots are fashioned in Photographs by Women. Obviously committed to the medium and the aesthetic challenge, Women in Focus expresses original visual stories born through, but not bound to, the female gender. u
Photographs by Women continues through July 22 at the Atlanta Photography Group Gallery, 660 9th St. Wed.-Fri. noon-4 p.m., Sat. noon-5 p.m. 404-877-1144.
Little harsh, in'it?
Oh that's right...I DID say enjoy yourself.
Go to hell Kombo!
When will you be accepting applicants for the 2014 competition?
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