The Center for Fine Art Photography is hosting three artists who are redefining beauty as a part of the Month of Photography event being displayed through April.
Month of Photography was created by Mark Sink to celebrate the recent coming of age of the fine art.
“Photography is the fastest growing and most popular mediums in contemporary art right now,” Sink said. “And, the explosion of contemporary photography around the world in all the great art fairs has broken it out of the ‘ugly step child’ mold.”
“Beauty” is the suggested theme for over a hundred public galleries hosting this event around Colorado. Kathleen Clark opened up this dialogue with her juried exhibition at The Center for Fine Art Photography.
“My version of beauty is a waxing and a waning,” Clark wrote in an artist’s statement. “Without the ache of beauty’s impending departure, there would be no desire to grasp it so fully.”
Clark’s exhibit depicts the time spent struggling to attain beauty, if only momentarily, and what society calls perfect.
“There’s this very limited range that’s socially acceptable,” said Director of The Center for Fine Art Photography Hamidah Glasglow. “And yet we’re much more complicated than that as human beings.”
Clark’s work is complemented by Denis Roussel, whose exhibition focuses on the beauty of discarded objects.
His interest in nature and recycling shows in his subject matter. Roussel creates compositions using everyday objects like dried up flowers and plastic bags.
“Ever since I started photography, I was already interested in things people would overlook,” Roussel said.
To create his images, Roussel coated cardboard food containers with photosensitive material, and positioned items from his recycling bin on top. Then he let his images be exposed to light for anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes.
“So what you see in the final image is the shadows of the objects I put on the cardboard,” Roussel said.
His first solo exhibition, “Reclaim, Reuse, Transcend,” was jointly named with the Center for Fine Art Photography Director Hamidah Glasglow.
“Denis Roussel’s work is all about seeing the beauty in things sort of traditionally past their prime or outside of that traditional span of whether something is considered beautiful,” Glasglow said.
Taking the ordinarily mundane or ugly and elevating it to an art form can be seen as an attempt to redefine our notions of beauty.
“We’re not trying to hide that those (photographs) were created with everyday waste,” Roussel said. “But through recycling or through upcycling or in my case, through the photographic process, there is some value even again to whatever object was discarded.”
The Center for Fine Art Photography will be hosting a discussion with Roussel April 3.
April 2 will bring the arrival of final artist Youngho Kang, who will be coming to speak about his work.
The variety of forms of beauty are incarnated in the photo exhibition of performances by Kang.
“As human beings, we have all these different facets to us,” Glasglow said. “We all have within us ‘feminine’ and ‘masculine’ and ‘warrior’ and a part that’s very deeply related to the earth. And I think what he’s done is he’s taking all of these different variations.”
All three exhibitions are related to that same idea of a narrow range that is socially accepted.
“We like flowers when they are in full bloom, but maybe not so much when they’re dead and on the ground,” Glasglow said. “But without those dead flowers on the ground, no new flowers are going to come up. So that for me was what all three exhibitions address and explore in very different ways.”
Collegian A&E Writer Sierra Cymes can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @sierra_cymes.