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Upcoming Events

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Artist Spotlight…

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

Edgar Degas: The…

Mar 31 - May 24, 2015
Featuring drawings, prints, sculpture, and photographs, all from a single… more

Kikuo Saito at…

Mar 31 - Apr 4, 2015
Octavia Art Gallery is pleased to present a selection of works from New York… more

Lydia's Purple Cloth…

Mar 31 - 31, 2015
Quilting continues! We're excited to have more time to work on creations… more

M.S. Rau Antiques…

Mar 31 - May 4, 2015
Long established and leading art, antiques and jewelry specialist M.S. Rau… more

Maple Leaf Bar…

Mar 31 - 31, 2015
Join us for live entertainment featuring the Grammy Award winning ReBirth Brass… more

Purchased Lives: New…

Mar 31 - Jul 18, 2015
The Historic New Orleans Collection's newest exhibition, "Purchased… more

The New Orleans…

Mar 31 - Nov 18, 2015
Marvel Universe LIVE! will captivate audiences with an authentic and original… more

Voices Not Forgotten…

Mar 31 - 31, 2015
Many of us have heard our elders talking about the great music and fancy dances… more

EN MAS’: Carnival and…

Apr 1 - Jun 7, 2015
Curated by Claire Tancons, Krista Thompson, EN MAS': Carnival and Performance… more

Jim Roche: Cultural…

Apr 1 - Jul 12, 2015
Born in 1943, Jim Roche received a BA from Florida State University (1961)… more

Mark Steinmetz: South

Apr 1 - May 10, 2015
Mark Steinmetz lives and works in Athens, Georgia. His work transcends the… more

Opera on Tap

Apr 1 - 1, 2015
Now in its 8th season, Opera on Tap - New Orleans is attracting people from… more

Smoker's World…

Apr 1 - 1, 2015
Join us at the Maple Leaf Bar for Smoker's World featuring Eric… more

Tennessee Williams:…

Apr 1 - May 31, 2015
Tennessee Williams was one of the most admired playwrights of the 20th century.… more

The Victory Belles…

Apr 1 - 1, 2015
Noted for their close harmonies and synchronized dance steps, the Andrews… more

YLC Wednesday at the…

Apr 1 - 1, 2015
The 12-week concert series takes place in downtown New Orleans at Lafayette… more

Exhibition Opening -…

Apr 2 - 2, 2015
Self-Taught, Outsider and Visionary Art will showcase works from the Ogden… more

Le Petit Theatre…

Apr 2 - 4, 2015
Donald Margulies' Pulitzer Prize-winning play tells the story of a couple… more

Ogden After Hours…

Apr 2 - 2, 2015
Join us for Ogden After Hours for Christ Thomas King. more

Artist Spotlight…

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