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Upcoming Events

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Irvin Mayfield's Jazz…

Sep 16 - 16, 2014
Join us at The Irvin Mayfield Jazz Playhouse at the Royal Sonesta Hotel for… more

Kinder Garden:…

Sep 16 - 30, 2014
Play, learn and grow in this hands-on introduction to the world of gardens for… more

Kinder Garden:…

Sep 16 - 30, 2014
Play, learn and grow in this hands-on introduction to the world of gardens for… more

Maple Leaf Bar…

Sep 16 - 30, 2014
Join us for live entertainment featuring the Grammy Award winning ReBirth Brass… more

Standing in the…

Sep 16 - Nov 25, 2014
"Standing in the Shadows (no more)" is a series of narrative quilting… more

Standing in the…

Sep 16 - Nov 25, 2014
"Standing in the Shadows (No More)" is a series of narrative quilting… more

The Victory Belles…

Sep 16 - Nov 19, 2014
Noted for their close harmonies and synchronized dance steps, the Andrews… more

The Victory Belles…

Sep 16, 2014 - Jun 24, 2015
Noted for their close harmonies and synchronized dance steps, the Andrews… more

Trinity Artist Series…

Sep 16 - Oct 7, 2014
Join us for "Organ & Labyrinth" and candlelight with Albinas… more

True Colors Exhibition

Sep 16 - 18, 2014
This exhibition aims to represent people of all sexualities, genders, races and… more

Funk Monkey featuring…

Sep 17 - 24, 2014
Join us for Funk Monkey featuring members of Bonerama. more

Grammy Award-winning…

Sep 17 - 24, 2014
Join us at The Irvin Mayfield Jazz Playhouse at the Royal Sonesta Hotel for… more

Irvin Mayfield's Jazz…

Sep 17 - 24, 2014
Join us at The Irvin Mayfield Jazz Playhouse at the Royal Sonesta Hotel for… more

Lakefront Arena…

Sep 17 - 17, 2014
Demi Lovato's World Tour makes a stop at the Lakefront Arena - this will be one… more

Mark of the Feminine

Sep 17 - Oct 4, 2014
Curator Regine Basha's Mark of the Feminine is the first in a series of… more

Pat O'Brien's Halfway…

Sep 17 - 17, 2014
The Leprechauns will make a mid-year appearance this year when Pat O'Brien's… more

The Victory Belles…

Sep 17 - 17, 2014
Noted for their close harmonies and synchronized dance steps, the Andrews… more

Tom Gibbs presents…

Sep 17 - 17, 2014
Historian Tom Gibbs will examine the Battle of Peleliu and the toll it took on… more

White Glove Wednesdays

Sep 17 - 17, 2014
It's one thing to read on an exhibit label that an infantryman's pack in World… more

American Theater…

Sep 18 - 21, 2014
American Theatre Project of New Orleans (ATPNO) returns to Dillard University's… more

Irvin Mayfield's Jazz…

Sep 16 - 16, 2014
Join us at The Irvin Mayfield Jazz Playhouse at the Royal Sonesta Hotel for… 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