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Cecilia Vicuña: About…

Mar 30 - Jun 18, 2017
Cecilia Vicuña: About to Happen traces the artist’s long career to… more

David Hansen's Garden…

Mar 30, 2017
Since 2006, Hansen's Garden District Jazz Trio has performed every night at… more

Dividing the Estate

Mar 30 - Apr 15, 2017
The third regional premiere of our season is the winner of the Outer Critics… more

Heart of the House

Mar 30, 2017 - Jan 08, 2026
In The Voodoo Garden, All Ages. Heart of the House puts the spotlight on House… more

Jazz in the Park 1st…

Mar 30 - Apr 2, 2017
Join us for the 1st Annual Treme Crab Festival! Festival go-ers will experience… more

Lilith in Loa…

Mar 30, 2017
From Laurel Canyon to the West Village, Nashville to New Orleans, the LOA Bar… more

New Orleans Museum of…

Mar 30 - May 21, 2017
NOMA is organizing A Life of Seduction: Venice in the 1700s in cooperation… more

New Orleans Museum of…

Mar 30 - Oct 1, 2017
In celebration of beloved chef, civil rights activist, and art collector Leah… more

RAW: New Orleans =…

Mar 30 - 30, 2017
Join us @ RAW: New Orleans for a local creative explosion of film, fashion,… more

Senga Nengudi:…

Mar 30 - Jun 18, 2017
In 1975, artist Senga Nengudi began a series of sculptures, entitled R.S.V.P.,… more

SoFAB’s New Spring…

Mar 30 - Jun 1, 2017
The Southern Food and Beverage Museum (SoFAB) has just introduced its spring… more

Thursdays at Twilight…

Mar 30 - 30, 2017
This very popular series with an array of musicians and Mint Juleps will… more

Happier Hour Wine…

Mar 31 - Jun 30, 2017
Each week, we feature several wines from around the world along with small… more

Hogs for the Cause

Mar 31 - Apr 1, 2017
Join us for Hogs for the Cause, the nation’s premier fundraiser for… more

Jazz in the Park…

Mar 31 - 31, 2017
Join us for a fundraiser featuring two of the biggest names in jazz- Roy Ayers… more

New Orleans Opera…

Mar 31 - 31, 2017
Have a devil of a time with one of the most interesting stories ever told.… more

The Irish Cultural…

Mar 31, 2017 - Jan 22, 2027
Join us at the beautiful Irish Cultural Museum of New Orleans every Friday… more

Backyard Grooves

Apr 01, 2017 - Jan 10, 2026
In The Voodoo Garden, All Ages.   more

Double Dose

Apr 01, 2017 - Jan 10, 2026
ActionActionReaction and friends keep the dance floor energized with mixes of… more

New Orleans Spring…

Apr 1 - 2, 2017
New Orleans Spring Fiesta Association celebrates the cultural heritage… more

Cecilia Vicuña: About…

Mar 30 - Jun 18, 2017
Cecilia Vicuña: About to Happen traces the artist’s long career to… 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