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Spring 2013 SPOTlight


I find the portraits by Houston photographer Anne Marie D’Arcy astonishing. First of all, they are facilely done; the composition and lighting are fine. The models have exceptional ease and comfort in front of the camera. The notion that a group of turbaned Sikhs could be shown as happy and unremarkable strikes me as slyly subversive. In a climate of political correctness and sensitivity to diversity, I am trying to offer this observation inoffensively. I don’t encounter Sikhs
regularly and seeing them in this completely easy, up beat way is disarming and delightful. These are tribal portraits, the same as if Ms. D’Arcy had documented Wall St. lawyers or African tribesmen or Texas cowboys with her unaffected, receptive sensibility. She renders her subjects accessible and familiar. This is marvelously radical to me, and perhaps to you, and probably not to a Sikh. This strikes me as smart and worth putting in front of you.

Lauren Marsolier, winner of the 2013 HCP Fellowship

Lauren Marsolier’s work has an intentional quality. By intentional, I mean that there is an otherness, a higher consciousness here. These are sharply considered, very good-looking landscapes of an anonymous and arid village without signs or signs of life. Something’s afoot. What are these strange places bathed in pleasant pink light. Why do car tracks mysteriously disappear?

It seems absolutely soundless, too. What an odd thing to observe about photographs. We are visitors here, observers, pleasantly alienated. There are unidentifiable buildings in a strangely abandoned settlement. It is a place like one of those towns where NAVY seals practice deadly raids or where Jacques Demy musicals from the 1960s are set. Why do the tire tracks end or why do the hanging rings or the wrapped car seem so ominous? This work is so contemporary and accomplished. It didn’t occur to me that these were composited images until after several viewings.

W. M. Hunt (Bill Hunt), a New York-based collector, curator and consultant, is responsible for introducing many major contemporary artists in the U.S., including Luc Delahaye, Julian Faulhaber, Erwin Olaf and Paolo Ventura. His collection Dancing Bear is the subject of The Unseen Eye; Photographs from the Unconscious, published by Thames & Hudson in the UK and Aperture in the U.S. He also teaches at the School of Visual Arts and for many years produced the Your Picture… panels for PDN. Most recently, he curated Photolucida’s Critical Mass touring exhibition and judged competitions for Photo Center North West in Seattle (Equivalents), the Castelli Gallery in Ashevell, NC (Road) and KlompChing in Brooklyn, NY (Fresh).