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I had a hunch this “portfolio walk” idea might be fun, so last Saturday I took the jaunt to 555 Gallery’s “Personal Porfolio” exhibit. Concurrent with this show, the South Boston gallery is hosting “portfolio walks”, during which several of the 13 exhibiting artists are on hand with their latest projects-in-process to accompany and complement their pieces on the walls. The exhibit itself is a feast for the eyes, offering a cornucopia of enticing, fresh perspectives in a variety of photographic genres. For me, talking with the artists was icing on the cake, just plain delicious. To whet your appetite, I’m featuring just four of those who regaled me with their latest work. But I’m going back for more.
In her series “The Gift of Regret”, Astrid Reischwitz tastefully gift-wraps objects symbolizing her past life in Germany. Each elegant cellophane or white mesh parcel reveals its contents against a pure white ground, preserving and honoring a memory while simultaneously giving it away to the past and inviting the future. Those are on the wall. In her portfolio box and displayed across a nearby tabletop, Reischwitz’s newest project, “Stories from the Kitchen Table” brims with references to the history of her ancestral family farm and disappearing way of life in the rural German village where her parents still live. Triptychs revealing cherished stories balance composition and color, combining her photographs with old family photos and her images of heirloom textiles dating back to 1799.
Like a caterpillar transforming into a butterfly through the chrysalis stage, in which you can see both old and new forms, Lucas James utilizes polished metal sheeting and mylar as reflective surfaces for the human body. His photographic technique creates abstract perspectives of nudes that incorporate textural overlays representing a different state of being. Thus, his new series “Event Horizons” explores “moments of deep metamorphosis that, while often painful, result in profound growth.” Dark, muted palettes and obscure, distorted forms confer a dream-like quality and suggest that change can be both beautiful and violent.
In his latest project “Codex Natura”, Jim Nickelson goes dark and abstract with natural formations like rocks and ice. In B&W work that looks as if it may have involved some antiquating alternative photographic processes or a darkroom technique like solarization, which makes an image adopt a metallic glow, Nickelson explores abstraction with a unique and dramatic perspective. In contrast, his work on the gallery walls is from a series of exquisitely abstracted and high-contrast fireworks, “Pyrotechnic” and from another series “Adventures in Celestial Mechanics”, which explores the full moon in ways that will send you right over it.
In her latest series “Morphogenesis”, Corinne Schulze was inspired by fractal geometry, or the natural occurrence of repeating patterns that persist across various scales, to represent geological formations with a fresh perspective. Her large color photographs often lack identifying clues like edges and horizons, creating a purposely decontextualized skew that nudges us to closer inspection of pattern, color and texture. Simultaneously natural and abstract, vivid and organic, Schulze’s photographs manipulate scale to produce stunning tributes to natural phenomena.
The next portfolio walks are this Thursday, June 4, 2015, from 6-8PM and on Saturday, June 6, 2015 from 2-5PM. For artist attendance and full scheduling information, go to: http://www.555gallery.com/exhibitions/#/current-exhibition-personal-portfolio/
Feature image: “Moon of Plenty VII” from the series Adventures in Celestial Mechanics by Jim Nickelson (courtesy of the artist and 555 Gallery, South Boston)