Exhibit This: March's Photography Shows and Releases

by Lindsay Comstock

March 07, 2014

Before They Were Famous


Actress Tilda Swinton. © Johnny Rozsa

Artist: Johnny Rozsa
BookUntouched: Star Photography Before They Were Famous
Price: $50

Untouched: Star Photography Before They Were Famous (Glitterati, Spring 2014) by celebrated editorial photographer Johnny Rozsa is a new monograph of celebrity portraits from the 1980s—including icons Debbie Harry, Whitney Houston, Billy Idol, Tilda Swinton, Manolo Blahnik and Hugh Grant, among others. The collection of images in the book are a rare display of household faces before they were stars, and before the advent of Photoshop further refined their natural beauty. 

The New York-based photographer got his start interning at Vogue under the auspices of legendary creative director Grace Coddington, and his images have since appeared in publications such as Vogue, The New York Times, Newsweek and New York Magazine. Rozsa captures the essence of his subjects in poses reminiscent of the great portraitists of our time.

Amy Arbus Juries Portrait Exhibit at the Center for Fine Art Photography


"Gentil Bird." © Carla Linhares

Artists: Various
Exhibit: Juried portraits, curated by Amy Arbus 
Venue: The Center for Fine Art Photography, Fort Collins, Colorado
Date: March 7-April 5

The Center for Fine Art Photography in Fort Collins, Colorado, is hosting a gallery and online exhibit to honor the photographers chosen by photographer Amy Arbus in a juried show representing contemporary ideas about portraiture. Says Arbus of her selections—which include an array of talented artists, among them Deb Schwedhelm, Carla Linhares and Simon Martin—“Once I made my selections, I saw in them many people staring back at me with mournful gazes. They seemed either downtrodden or drunk, bereft, joyless, suspicious or resigned. In some portraits people appeared to be gasping for air, while others gave the impression of being afraid to take a single breath. Almost all of them were alone. It is the subjects’ emotional availability that captivates us, and for as long as we allow ourselves to look, we can be alone together.” 

The exhibit, which represents a diverse array of subjects as well as technical and esthetic considerations, will be on view in the gallery from March 7 through April 5.

Kodak’s Gallery Elite Award Winners


"When the Music Ends." © Ben Shirk

As a way to “honor, promote and celebrate the importance and value of excellence in professional photography,” Kodak created the Kodak Gallery Awards in 1985. Since then, the company has presented awards to deserving photographers at the annual Photographers of America print competition conventions. 

For 2013, the highest honor, the Gallery Elite Award, was awarded to Iowa-based photographer Ben Shirk for the second year in a row, this time for “When the Music Ends,” an image of an imaginative circus scene inspired by graffiti. Second place was given to Ken Martin for “Nature’s Palette,” a landscape image taken in the White Pocket area of Northern Arizona; third place went to Robin Swanson for “A Moment to Dream,” a monochromatic image of a bride staring out a window; and fourth place was awarded to David Humphrey for “The Tree of Life,” a black-and-white image of an old, gnarled oak tree.

New ParkeHarrison Work Takes Mainstage at Catherine Edelman Gallery


"Apparition of Mallermé, 2013." © Robert and Shana ParkeHarrison, courtesy Catherine Edelman Gallery, Chicago

Artists: Robert and Shana ParkeHarrison
Exhibit: "Gautier’s Dream"
Venue: Catherine Edelman Gallery, Chicago
Date: March 7-April 26

Known for photographic work at the intersection of technology, portrait and landscape, the husband-and-wife duo Robert and Shana ParkeHarrison will have a new body of work on display at the Catherine Edelman Gallery in Chicago. “Gautier’s Dream” is a series and exhibition of black-and-white images comprising a devoutly surreal affront to concepts in portraiture and performance, inspired by the French artist, writer and critic Théophile Gautier. 

“Our Everyman balances on a small circus platform as he breaks from his burden of salvaging a dying world,” writes the couple in their exhibition statement. “These unexpected visual moments are not necessarily what the Everyman signed up for. But he partakes in the timelessness of ritual and make-believe. The stage offers endless narrative possibilities and favors contradictions—hope and despair, desire and failure…to explore the fragile human condition, and the overarching shadow of environmental destruction. Perhaps the only true hope for our world and our human spirit rests in our ability to imagine.” 

This series is only a slight departure from the often otherworldly and decidedly vintage esthetic of the photographers’ work, which has gained somewhat of a cult following. The exhibit is on display March 7 through April 26.

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