School of Visual Arts presents “Presence,” an exhibition of photography and drawing by current students and recent alumni celebrating diversity and questioning cultural stereotypes. Curated by Richard Brooks, assistant director of SVA Galleries, the exhibition will be on view Thursday, May 29, through Saturday, June 14, at the SVA Gramercy Gallery, 209 East 23rd Street, New York City.
In his series of soft-focus color photographs, Dale Capistrano (a BFA Photography student) creates portraits that recall 19th-century experiments with calotypes and salt prints. The artist adds diaphanous layers onto his traditional portrait prints, giving his works a tender, nostalgic ambience.
In his series of ink drawings on paper, Elliot Chambers (a BFA Illustration student) explores isolation and the notion of the stranger. Drawing on Giacometti’s elongated, solitary figures, the artist uses subtle, delicate marks with diluted ink to create blurred silhouettes floating in space. Intentionally lacking context and detail, these anonymous souls become metaphors for strangers we encounter daily.
Amy Davis’ (MFA 2014 Photography, Video and Related Media) color photographs capture the drama of interactions on New York City's streets. Shot in a cinematic style to resemble movie stills, her pictures contain ambiguous narratives left open for the viewer's interpretation.
Drawing on his childhood in rural Oklahoma, Jon Ervin’s (MFA 2014 Photography, Video and Related Media) color photographs critique American male stereotypes. Targeting the nostalgia, excess and aggressive nature of traditional masculinity, his large-scale portraits expose contradictions and absurdities inherent in a stereotypical masculine identity.
“Street Strangers” is a series of five black-and-white portraits by Meg Laubscher (MPS 2014 Digital Photography) of individuals the photographer encountered in New York City. Shot at close range in uncompromising, direct light, the larger-than-life-size faces fill the picture frame and gaze directly at the viewer. While fairly personal and intimate in detail, the anonymity of each person remains. The images reflect the rare, fleeting few minutes in which two strangers stopped, shared a moment and then carried on with their lives.
In her series “Void,” Rehan Miskci (MFA 2014 Photography, Video and Related Media) takes her subjects from the vast archive of Maryam Sahinyan, an Armenian studio photographer working in Istanbul from 1935 to 1985. Miskci recontextualizes her chosen images to create fragmented, semi-abstract photo-collages exploring the displacement and identity loss she feels as part of the Armenian minority in Turkey.
Drawing on myth, religion and Jungian psychology, Elizabeth Woodbury (BFA 2014 Photography) presents “Transference,” a series of color photographs exploring archetypal experiences. Strongly influenced by Pre-Raphaelite painting, the artist constructs elaborate sets where she photographs models enacting allegorical tableaus based on her personal experience.