Photography by Mara Trachtenberg and Brian Alterio
Opening reception: Thursday May 19, 5 to 9pm
Exhibit: May 19 through June 25, 2016
Mara Trachtenberg, “A Decadent World”
Mara creates imaginary worlds of made from intricate sugar sculptures and then brings them into reality through photography. Mysterious topiary gardens are inhabited by chimeras — hybrid creatures with human and animal attributes. Trachtenberg’s unique vision creates her own fantastical pseudo-culture complete with symbols of decadence, frivolity, abundance and celebration. She reflects upon the religious and mythological traditions of divine beings, supernatural powers, and the ways human cultures use, abuse, fear, love and revere animals and nature.
Sculpting with sugar, a material that deteriorates, allows Trachtenberg to explore the relationship between ephemeral objects and the photograph. Photographing the sculptures preserves them two dimensionally and allows her to add to each image’s symbolic narrative through framing, juxtaposition, and composition. Trachtenberg’s “decadent worlds” will take you to an alternate reality that will delight and challenge.
Brian Alterio, “Florals and Found Art”
Brian Alterio’s floral series began with the observation of the slow, magnificent blooming of an Amaryllis. Entranced by the flower’s lyrical negative spaces pressing against the positive natural object, changing hour by hour and day by day until the declining petals fell prey to the power of figure versus ground – were both beautiful and emblematic of the inevitable course of life itself. Captivated, the New York City artist began photographing these extraordinary objects in his studio, and continues to produce on a regular basis.
The fascinating journey with floral images spread from the studio into the streets of New York City with the capture of “found art”. Alterio’s images of street detritus, crumpled trash, splattered paint, and cast away objects possess the same careful study of form, balanced textures, delicate tones, and poetic lines in space. Alterio’s exquisite prints reveal the progression of birth, life, and decay with elegance and grace.