I saw the most arresting exhibition today. (Gioncarlo Valentine at Blue Sky Gallery) I’m not going to try to analyze it here, with my pale words that don’t really mean anything in the face of photography. Instead, here’s a list I wrote in my notebook while in a room with images staring back at me from all sides.
Images that treat men as soft objects
Images that let light fall on men, black men, softly
Mix of black and white and color—not putting subjects into a specific stylized box*(More thoughts on this later.)
Portraits where subjects exist outside of the frame, are fully blurry, are obscured
For a lovely little write up of the work from this exhibition, go here: https://www.newyorker.com/
I wish I had gotten my shit together and seen this show when it was still going to be up for a bit, instead of the day before it closed, but I’m grateful to have stood in the same room as these photos. I also have some more formal responses—mostly the combination of color and black & white, and the inclusion of both candid and posed shots. (Athough, to be fair, even the shots I know must be more posed still feel so casual that they read as pretty candid.) But really my favorite thing about this work is that it’s sentimental and soft without being cloying or trying to pander.