Sunday, February 21, 2010

Gregory Halpern

All Images from "Omaha Sketchbook" Sizes Variable. Printed by J&L Books. Edition of 30

Gregory Halpern spent most of his life in Buffalo, New York and shoots most of his photographs there as a result. He received his Bachelor's from Harvard in History and Lit. and then earned his MFA from the California College of the Arts. The photographs I am covering are from his most recent book "Omaha Sketchbook". He has another book on the way about Buffalo, NY and currently lives and teaches in Rochester, NY.

Although his bio is rather limited in what I can find, his work seems to speak for itself. The photographs are a series of contact prints paired together in interesting juxtapositions featuring single photographs to diptychs and triptychs. Although the description of what this series is about remains vague and pretty much unspoken, I find that interesting. I enjoy trying to find meaning through the pairings and subjects that he's captured in this book. Much like my work (although mine has more explanation) he photographs the landscape and social scape of "Omaha". What I like about these is that they present a raw look into this place, its people, community, and its under belly. The conclusions that one must make to try and understand what it is is also interesting. It's a smaller community, relatively spacious in the development of homes, close to the countryside, possibly in the Midwest due to its architecture, and incorporating a rural aesthetic. There's a personal connection you can pick up by looking at these photographs, you can assume that the photographer is trustworthy, and is interested in revealing a story with little dialogue, only visual clues about the people and place. Subtle clues are something that I feel my work may need to incorporate, instead being so blunt.

Gallery (none)
Interview (none) article on older works

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