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Upcoming Events

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17th Annual Martin…

Mar 5 - 7, 2015
Join us for the 17th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemorative Art… more

Andrew Jackson: Hero…

Mar 5 - 29, 2015
THNOC's exhibition tracks Jackson's rise from humble beginnings to immortality… more

Artist Spotlight…

Mar 5 - 31, 2015
New Orleans-based woodturning artist Tom Dunne will be the featured artist in… more

Ashe Cultural Arts…

Mar 5 - 5, 2015
Please join us for the film screening of Por Aqui Paso Chavez, a documentary of… more

Edgar Degas: The…

Mar 5 - May 24, 2015
Featuring drawings, prints, sculpture, and photographs, all from a single… more

Jim Roche: Cultural…

Mar 5 - Jul 12, 2015
Born in 1943, Jim Roche received a BA from Florida State University (1961)… more

Ogden After Hours…

Mar 5 - 5, 2015
Join us for Ogden After Hours for Colin Lake. more

Tennessee Williams:…

Mar 5 - May 31, 2015
Tennessee Williams was one of the most admired playwrights of the 20th century.… more

The Columns Hotel…

Mar 5 - 26, 2015
The Historical Columns Hotel with its "sophiscicated atmosphere" and… more

The New Orleans…

Mar 5 - Nov 18, 2015
Marvel Universe LIVE! will captivate audiences with an authentic and original… more

The Trio feat. Johnny…

Mar 5 - 5, 2015
Join us for The Trio: Johnny Vidacovich, Nigel Hall, and George Porter Jr. … more

Friends of the…

Mar 6 - 6, 2015
Local jazz band, the Panorama Jazz Band, will bookend the final concert of… more

International…

Mar 6 - 7, 2015
Now in its seventh year, the New Orleans International Children's Film… more

Jefferson Arts…

Mar 6 - 15, 2015
Mrs. Stancliffe's Rose Cottage Bed & Breakfast has been successful for many… more

Lauren Sturm - Bayou…

Mar 6 - 6, 2015
Performs solo acoustic piano. more

Maple Leaf Bar…

Mar 6 - 6, 2015
Join us for live entertainment featuring Groovesect. more

Mark Steinmetz: South

Mar 6 - May 10, 2015
Mark Steinmetz lives and works in Athens, Georgia. His work transcends the… more

Music at the Mint…

Mar 6 - 6, 2015
Billie performs mainly in an avant-garde, free style painting expansive… more

Opening Reception -…

Mar 6 - 6, 2015
Join us  for a free opening reception for Radcliffe Bailey: Recent Works… more

Ponchatoula Antique…

Mar 6 - 8, 2015
Featuring-Antique Collectibles Booth, Fine Arts & Crafts Booth, Food Booth,… more

17th Annual Martin…

Mar 5 - 7, 2015
Join us for the 17th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemorative Art… more

Tonic of Wildness: Photographs by John Bentham

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Tonic of Wildness: Photographs by John Bentham

Opening Reception: Saturday February 22, 2014, 6 - 9 pm
Exhibition through March 29, 2014

 

The Foundation Gallery
608 Julia Street
New Orleans, LA 70130

 

John Bentham documents various social groups in his photographs, depicting individuals from an array of backgrounds in their environments. His investigation into human behavior has been a lifelong pursuit that offers an intimate perspective into the lives of his subjects. Bentham also extends his practice to landscapes and details that complete the photographic stories and provide color and texture to the narratives he portrays. The artist's humanity toward his subjects is evident in his approach: at once insightful, personal, and frank.

Throughout his career, Bentham has focused on subcultures, including burlesque dancers, drag queens, bikers, and roller derby teams. Often these series develop over several years, and the artist fosters close relationships with his subjects, allowing for an inside view into their worlds. The series of works featured in this exhibition present a range of photographs, taken from 2012 through the present, that were inspired by Bentham's move from New York City to rural upstate New York in the summer of 2012. After over two decades of living in New York City, Bentham found the dramatic change from the busyness of urban life to the slower pace of the small town a compelling subject to tackle. The resulting images-a group of participants at a local truck pull; a lone rig parked in a lot outside Utica-faithfully represent the milieu in which the artist operates and lend an experiential, "being there" quality to the moment depicted.

Drawing from a rich tradition of documentary photographers such as Henri Cartier-Bresson, Diane Arbus, Robert Frank, and Bruce Davidson, Bentham approaches his subjects with minimal technical intervention. In our age of digital manipulation, it is refreshing to see a photograph that is not heavily imbued with falsely saturated colors and effects-one that instead depicts what is essentially true through the lens of the artist's own perspective.

How can an image be sympathetic, humorous, critical, and poetic at the same time? That is Bentham's gift. Somehow he manages to capture all these qualities with an effortlessness that belies the complexity of his subjects. His approach to the people and places he photographs does not endeavor to simplify or qualify their lives. Rather, these images present an often relatable perspective as they document the peculiarities of social behavior. As he has done in his other work, Bentham here uses the camera to observe and record while he becomes embedded within the culture he visually explores.

As Thoreau wrote, we need "the tonic of wildness"-moments never before seen in a particular way, places never before defined with such clarity. Through this new body of work, Bentham delves into the dynamic and mysterious relationships between people and their environment, a journey that is endlessly fascinating and unhaltingly original.

 

The Foundation Gallery
608 Julia Street
New Orleans, LA 70130
Telephone: 504-568-0955
www.foundationgallerynola.com
Hours: 11-4 Tues & Wed, 11-6 Thurs-Sat

Opening Reception: Saturday February 22, 2014, 6 - 9 pm
Exhibition through March 29, 2014

 

Proceed from this exhibition will benefit the Treme Market Branch, New Orleans
www.trememarketbranch.com