The Salmagundi Club presents Photography Today, on view for two weeks only from May 2 through May 14, 2022, in the Rockwell Gallery. This exhibition of fine art photography showcases the work of 23 photographer members.
Photography is a unique artistic medium because of its ability to freeze a precise moment in time and make the fleeting become permanent. Through photography, the artist can tell a story in a single frame—often a much more chaotic reality condensed into one image—expanding the momentary experience into something long-lasting.
“The decisive moment,” as described by French photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson, refers to the instant an artist captures an ephemeral and spontaneous event, whereafter the photograph represents the energetic essence of the event itself. The artist engages in the decisive act of choosing the framing, how the light falls on their subject, and that exact timing to press the shutter and forever save the image. The intention of the artist to be present with that moment, or action, becomes an exchange of perspectives that ultimately transmits from the subject, to the artist, to the viewer.
A variety of photographic styles are represented in this exhibition, including stoic landscapes with pastoral countrysides, or poetic seascapes, with juxtaposing elements that obscure the sense of past and present. The viewer will encounter artworks that have layered images, textures, and sepia tones, or compositions with bright digitization. Frank Bartucca presents a heavily digitized image, creating a surreal scene that bridges the gap between the digital dimension and our physical reality. Mark Battista presents photographs of carefully constructed still lifes, with intricate small objects, reminiscent of assemblages by Joseph Cornell. In the works by Joe Goldman and Rod Brayman we find chiaroscuro compositions that highlight the contours of the human body, with light playing on the subjects’ skin to create bold lines and forms.
Anthony Almeida’s grainy black-and-white images draw a parallel between the early 1900’s Depression-era photography and the Covid-19 pandemic of the present moment. The candid subjects are shown as strong, courageous people determined to survive, with the reality of these tough times reflected in the innocent eyes of the mask-wearing children. Rosemary Hawkins and Mark Testa exhibit black-and-white photographs of desolate public spaces, lone tables and vacant roads, reminding the viewer of the period of lockdown when these quiet spaces filled our world.
Neil Allen provides a hopeful contrast with a bright and joyful scene of young beach-goers, evoking the egalitarian leisure of the beach scenes in paintings by George Seurat. Carolyn Antonucci-Almeida, Michael Yamaoka and Alan Richards offer photographs to raise the spirit, with vibrant street performers and clown imagery, acknowledging the necessity for whimsical entertainment and human connection during these hard times.
The exhibition in the Rockwell Gallery is free and open to the public. Viewing hours are 1:00 pm to 6:00 pm Monday through Friday, and 1:00 to 5:00 pm Saturday and Sunday.
The Salmagundi Club is located at 47 Fifth Avenue between 11th/12th Streets, NYC. Follow the Club on Instagram.