Raandesk Gallery of Art announces Optical: Staged. Optical is an annual juried competition held by Raandesk Gallery for photography. Each year a new theme is selected and works from around the world are submitted for consideration. The theme, Staged, was selected by one of the competition's jurors for the 2010 competition and served as a single word platform for photographers to present their work. The exhibition is comprised of photographs created by the top five finalists of the competition and serves to be dramatic as well as insightful into each artist's individual definition of the theme. The exhibition will feature both small and large-scale black & white and color photographs by Katarzyna Majak, Tom Prado, Margaret McCarthy and Vincent Zambrano.
About the Finalists
First place winner Katarzyna Majak has chosen to photograph the different phases in a life of a real piece of clothing. Through staging and performance the project reveals fascination, idealization and "disengagement" from external factors that influence us (be it objects or people). Majak received her B.F.A. in Photography at Poznan Academy of Fine Arts (now a PhD candidate). She has exhibited and curated throughout the U.S. and Poland where she is a member of the Association of Polish Art Photographers.
Second place winner, Tom Prado has created a series of diptychs entitled Double Take, that challenge the veracity of the photographic image. Photography has the ability to deceive and capture the truth. Double Take embraces this dichotomy by photographing different objects, in public and private spaces, that repeat. Although different objects, when photographed from the same perspective, they give the illusion of sameness. Prado was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1982. He received his B.F.A. in Photography from the Rhode Island School of Design, 2009.
Margaret McCarthy's series, Late Night Animals, is a display of animals as guests on late night talk TV shows. She explores the reactions of the TV hosts interactions between the exotic animals as a mirror of our own reactions. The animals are brought on the show to educate the mass TV audience, but in humorous and strange ways their "15 minutes of fame" end up entertaining our basic human desire to know these animals on our own terms and in our own comfort zone. McCarthy tries to speak to our conflicted reactions about co-existing with wildness and the natural world, and the irony of a culture that seems to love these animals to death but can't seem to leave them alone. She has exhibited her photographs extensively, including the Fogg Art Museum, the Overseas Press Club and the Hudson River Museum, as well as numerous galleries, universities and public exhibition spaces.
The Sleep of Doubt series is Zambrano's latest photo-collage, a rework from etchings by the Spanish artist, Francisco de Goya. The five original images are a spin off of the eighteenth-century Age of Enlightenment of Age of Reason. Zambrano has put his own spin on the images with his Sur-American culture and Spanish heritage. He has put himself as the subject to represent a different view on society. In each image he appears as the Sleep of Doubt figure with the specter of unreason hovering nearby; its presence being a constant reminder that humans are not perfectly rational, or enlightened all the time. A native of Manta Ecuador, Zambrano grew up in Queens, New York where he studied Fine Arts at the Fashion Institute of Technology. He continued his studies at The School of Visual Arts to widen his creative talent as film director. Throughout the years, Zambrano has exhibited his works in several group shows and private collections in the U.S. In 2002 he was accepted in the HBO International New York Film Festival for his film "La Arana". Among his other films he wrote and directed "The Heart of a Broken Tale" which was accepted at the Cannes Film Festival in 2006.
About the Optical 2010 Jurors:
Evan Mirapaul is an art collector who specializes in photography. Since 1989, travel has been a catalyst for this collector. It has become his goal to seek out artists, particularly photographers, and galleries wherever he goes. Highlights of his personal collection include the work of world-renowned American documentary photographer Ray K Metzker (b. 1931, see http://www.laurencemillergallery.com/), young American photographer Tim Davis (b.1969, see http://www.agvdgallery.com/), and Brazilian artist and recent BALTIC exhibitor Vik Muniz. He documents his encounters with photography on his blog, "Fugitive Vision". Mirapaul is the co-chair of the Friends of the Library Committee for the International Center for Photography.
JP Pullos - After studying at the George Eastman House and at ICP, JP Pullos joined Patrick McMullan's team of event and celebrity photographers and has spent the past three years documenting the urban jungle that is New York City. His editorial work has appeared in the New York Times, New York Magazine, Women's Wear Daily, GQ, the Village Voice, and Time Out New York. More recently, he has turned his attention to teaching photography while simultaneously working on documentary portraiture.