Edward Goldman talks about the huge difference between looking at art and actually seeing it.
When you venture into the ROSEGALLERY exhibition of San Francisco-based artist John Chiara, you might be slightly confused by the first impression of his large, color photographs. The subject of most of his images are ghostly landscapes shot in Mississippi, all of them blurred and looking slightly damaged during the developing process. And for some mysterious reason, each image is not printed in standard, rectangular format, but on unevenly-torn photo paper.
John Chiara uses custom-built cameras loaded on his flat bed truck. His largest camera measures 7'x10'x12'. Yes, feet, not inches. Such a camera accommodates large sheets of paper that are 50"x 80". Obviously the artist is not intent on giving us a picture-perfect impression of the landscape that for some reason stopped him in his tracks. With all of these "imperfections," his images convey the smell of the earth, the humidity of the air…or could it be the affect of one shot of vodka too many? Who knows? But the result is totally poetic and captivating.
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