Perspective Gallery’s Guest-Curated Exhibition:
Context: Art + Documentary
Photography by Jordan Baumgarten, John Densky and Juan Giraldo
Curated by Noah Addis
Context: Art + Documentary presents the work of three photographers working at the intersection of fine art and documentary photography. While documentary photographers have recently gained acceptance into the fine art world, there has always been a crossover between art and documentary photography. As budgets and traditional publishing opportunities have shrunk, many photojournalists have turned to books and exhibitions as a way to present their documentary projects. At the same time, many fine artists have realized that photography is perhaps an ideal medium to explore the expressive potential of the richness of human experience.
Jordan Baumgarten used photography as a way to come to terms with his new environment after he moved to an unfamiliar, and at times dangerous, neighborhood in Philadelphia. The resulting photographs blur the line between documentary and personal narrative. Baumgarten shares tender moments with his fiancee, Anne, while at the same time his photographs bristle with tension and fear that the violence outside may invade his domestic life.
After almost two decades of covering conflict in West Africa, Eastern Europe and The Middle East, Canadian photojournalist John Densky has turned his attention to investigating documentary photography's role in our own communities. Densky spent more than two years photographing young opiate addicts on the streets of his own community in London, Ontario. He took time to get to know his subjects, and the resulting work is as intimate as it is painful.
Juan Giraldo was born in Mazinales, Colombia and raised in Paterson, New Jersey. His background as a first-generation immigrant and laborer has shaped his work, which focuses on the lives and habitats of working people on the far Southeast side of Chicago and in Paterson, New Jersey. Giraldo forms a deep connection with his subjects. His empathy and understanding of his subjects is evident in his sensitive portraits and nostalgic still lives.
The three photographers in this exhibition produce work which defies simple labels. Their artistic and journalistic practices focus on community; all three have immersed themselves in their respective environments to form deep connections with their subjects and to place them within a greater context. The work both educates and inspires. It raises questions about the tension between objectivity and subjectivity, between information and interpretation.
~ Noah Addis
The exhibition will be on display August 3-28, 2017. An opening reception for the artists will be held on Saturday, August 5, 5-7 p.m. An artist talk/discussion is scheduled for Thursday, August 17 at 7 p.m. All events are free and open to the public.