Degrees of Separation
School of Visual Arts presents “Degrees of Separation,” an exhibition of photographs and drawings by current students and recent alumni featuring a tribute to Albert Einstein and prints celebrating cultural diversity. Curated by Richard Brooks, assistant director of SVA Galleries, the exhibition will be on view August 22 - September 14 at the SVA Gramercy Gallery, 209 East 23rd Street, New York City.
In her photographic series, Metro Diaries, Melanie Aronson (an MFA Social Documentary Film student) presents portraits of New York City subway passengers taken with her iPhone. Shot in an unembellished documentary style, with an exceptional eye for striking compositions, her black-and-white snapshots celebrate intimate, ephemeral human moments that often go unnoticed within a large urban setting.
Jessica Bandy (MFA 2013 Photography, Video and Related Media) exhibits 18 color photographs from Bethlehem, U.S.A., a series focusing on the former headquarters of the Bethlehem Steel Corporation, a 96-year-old company that provided steel for the nation, from the Empire State Building to the Golden Gate Bridge. Bandy’s project examines the life and death of industrial America through her environmental portraits of local steelworkers, juxtaposed with images of the decayed factory site where these individuals spent their working lives.
Supranav Dash’s (BFA 2013 Photography) ongoing portrait series Marginal Trades documents the vanishing businesses and professions of India. Working in the tradition of August Sander and Eugene Atget, the artist employs a great sensitivity for subtle tones with black-and-white photographs that pay homage to ancestral trades that are becoming marginalized by rapid socio-economic change.
Inspired by the theory of relativity, Paul Fiore (a BFA Illustration student) exhibits 360 Drawings for Albert Einstein, a mural-size artwork executed in gouache, charcoal and watercolor on 8 x 6 inch sheets of paper. The work features recurring images of circles, grids and the physicist himself . In describing the evolution of the artwork, Fiore states, “I developed a base vocabulary of 24 found images to create a theme and variation that imply notions of simultaneity. As the work progressed from 10 drawings to 30 and then 50, I realized I had to do 360, the number of degrees in a circle, to suggest how even the number of drawings is part of a greater whole”.
In his photographic series Anxiety, Sanghyuk Yoon (an MFA Photography, Video and Related Media student) focuses on single New Yorkers living alone. Using actors staged in residential interiors engaged in everyday activities, the artist’s color prints are at once straightforward and psychologically complex. The situations depicted are deliberately ambiguous, encouraging viewers to arrive at their own interpretations.