Bystander

Roe Ethridge, Ryan McGinley, Luis Gispert, Christina Hejtmanek, Kelly Lamb, Pete Riesett, Dean Sameshima, Amy Steiner -- curated by John Connelly
June 21 – July 27, 2002
Gallery 2
Press Release

This exhibition brings together eight young photographers who document the milieu of peers, family, peripheral cultures, urban/suburban/rural haunts and their own immediate environments.

Roe Ethridge's photographs exploit seemingly undefined territories between far-reaching subjects to suggest a correlation between artistic practices and the editorial, packaging and marketing process of mass media and consumerism. His sharp, studied images create a hard-edged and seductive realism that trace fascinating but circuitous parallels between nature, commerce and fashion.

Ryan McGinley uses the camera like a diary, recording his life in and around New York City. He often photographs a provocative and rowdy crowd of friends, including young gay boys, graffiti artists, skateboarders, DJ's and partiers. His books and hand made zines allow his images to form a dialogue that is somehow equally intense and tender. Like more and more artists working with photography today, McGinley is also comfortable in an editorial capacity and serves as the photo editor of Vice Magazine and as a contributing photographer to Index magazine.

Luis Gispert borrows compositions and symbolism from diverse sources such as art history, hip-hop culture and pulp science fiction to portray mystical scenarios that critique complex cultural issues of race, religion, aesthetics and taste. The characters in Gispert's photos float, fly or hang out in an inside-out/upside-down world that suggests a combination dream state and hip-hop purgatory.

Christina Hejtmanek's works strive to describe a sense of "place" in both a documentary and psychological sense. Her photos are tenuous records of road trips, landscapes and remote destinations. Capturing the moments left behind when passing through a place her painterly, blurred images seem to suggest that one's reality is often fleeting, like a thought or important memory that never quite crystallizes.

Kelly Lamb uses the camera to infiltrate and document various subcultures, from Playboy Bunnies to Yoga retreats. Often engaging loaded issues like sexuality, feminism and spirituality, Lamb ‘s work avoids didactics by using both humor and sublimity to expose and compare the cultural gulfs that exists between Eastern and Western societies and those within our own personal borders.

Pete Riesett photographs the territory of "home" both inside and out. Fascinated with the fortuitous combinations and detritus of our daily lives, his work also looks at the order and disorder people create in various corners of their living environments. While celebrating the formal and compositional possibilities these combinations create, Riesett casts an objective eye on the material objects that we as consumers accumulate and surround ourselves with.

A.L. Steiner strives to "capture certain moments that we see and yet miss all the time". Her intimate photos of lovers and friends prove the complexity of relationships is universal and that emotional intimacy is both elusive and sustaining. Her photos are often grouped according to categories like "color", "food", "sleep" , "love" etc…creating grids of images that form complex dialogues from simple themes.

Dean Sameshima's work explores how photography can reveal it's nature by appropriating and flattening various photographic vocabularies found in advertising, fashion, teenage fan magazines and personal photo albums. By photographing objects of yearning or desire in various contexts, in this case young men at Los Angeles Dance Clubs, Sameshima creates a leveling effect where desire and brief moments of arousal are both captured and ameliorated.