Plodding feet and murmuring voices mingle
up the gallery stairs. Students Alvin, Ben, Chad and Matt have arrived
from local community building organization Starfire and settle in front
of laptops loaded with their digital photos as another day of art
education begins at Prairie Gallery.
Nestled between Black Plastic Records and
Styles of Essence, 4029 Hamilton Ave. is a modest building with a sign
reading, “Northside International Airport” adorning the storefront. The
name itself coupled with the chalkboard outside advertising tacos is
enough to pique the interest of passersby.
Why are Hollywood glamour photographs on
display at the Taft Museum of Art? FotoFocus isn’t reason enough; the
Taft likes to establish a tie between the renowned permanent collection
and temporary exhibitions. So what is Myrna Loy doing here?
Shooting outdoors separated photographer Herb Ritts from
studio-based New York peers. In addition to Malibu and El Mirage, Ritts
used a rooftop studio. He established a fun, “organic” working
environment, enabling him to cajole his subjects and develop an
“anti-glamour” style of celebrity photography.
Tyler Shields’ Klout Score is probably through the roof. Although he is prone to superlatives,
someone less familiar with his work might find this statement mere
braggadocio. But Shields credits his online presence as the reason he is
so successful as a multi-disciplinary artist.
The god in Manifest Gallery’s Deus Ex Machina does
not arise from the traditional machine (that crane elevating a Greek
actor of ancient times to meet a plot need for divine intervention), but
instead from our handy modern device, the camera.
It’s appropriate that Project Obscura at
Northside’s Prairie Gallery opened before FotoFocus officially kicks
off Oct. 5. After all, the camera obscura (Latin for “dark chamber”) led
to the modern camera.
The young women photographed in Another Me: Transformations from Pain to Powerhave
all been victims of kidnapping or outright sale of themselves into sex
slavery. One is as young as 8 years old, none are more than 22. Rescued
and placed in the Sanlaap Shelter in Kolkata, they found returning to a
self they had lost hard going.
Stuart Fink’s Shape to Shape at
Brazee Street Studios’ gallery One One bristles with energy, mostly
dispenses with narrative (who needs it?) and includes paintings as well
as sculpture. Best known as a sculptor, Fink studied to be a painter and
never really gave it up.
See Unrealized and Unforeseen, Antonio Adams’ solo show at
Thunder-Sky Inc., and leave feeling a bit more special, even if you
aren’t on his list of “good celebrities,” superstars and Divas of Pride.
Just witness the transformative power of art.