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Upcoming Events

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Hidden Treasures:…

Sep 2 - 2, 2014
Join Friends of the Cabildo as the Louisiana State Museum's impressive… more

Irvin Mayfield's Jazz…

Sep 2 - 2, 2014
Join us at The Irvin Mayfield Jazz Playhouse at the Royal Sonesta Hotel for… more

Kinder Garden:…

Sep 2 - 30, 2014
Play, learn and grow in this hands-on introduction to the world of gardens for… more

Kinder Garden:…

Sep 2 - 30, 2014
Play, learn and grow in this hands-on introduction to the world of gardens for… more

Maple Leaf Bar…

Sep 2 - 30, 2014
Join us for live entertainment featuring the Grammy Award winning ReBirth Brass… more

Standing in the…

Sep 2 - Nov 25, 2014
"Standing in the Shadows (No More)" is a series of narrative quilting… more

Funk Monkey featuring…

Sep 3 - 24, 2014
Join us for Funk Monkey featuring members of Bonerama. more

Grammy Award-winning…

Sep 3 - 24, 2014
Join us at The Irvin Mayfield Jazz Playhouse at the Royal Sonesta Hotel for… more

Irvin Mayfield's Jazz…

Sep 3 - 24, 2014
Join us at The Irvin Mayfield Jazz Playhouse at the Royal Sonesta Hotel for… more

Lunchbox Lecture -…

Sep 3 - 3, 2014
History remembers the American, British and Polish Paratroopers who jumped into… more

Mark of the Feminine

Sep 3 - Oct 4, 2014
Curator Regine Basha's Mark of the Feminine is the first in a series of… more

The Royal Sonesta's…

Sep 3 - 3, 2014
The Royal Sonesta New Orleans presents the September Round Table Luncheon… more

We Live to Eat Kick…

Sep 3 - 3, 2014
For the first time, this event is open-to-the-public and attendees will be able… more

White Glove Wednesdays

Sep 3 - 3, 2014
It's one thing to read on an exhibit label that an infantryman's pack in World… more

Irvin Mayfield's Jazz…

Sep 4 - 25, 2014
Join us at The Irvin Mayfield Jazz Playhouse at the Royal Sonesta Hotel for… more

Irvin Mayfield's Jazz…

Sep 4 - 25, 2014
Join us at The Irvin Mayfield Jazz Playhouse at the Royal Sonesta Hotel for… more

Jazz in the Park

Sep 4 - Oct 30, 2014
Jazz in the Park returns for nine straight weeks this fall,  with a… more

Special Presentation…

Sep 4 - 4, 2014
Join us for a  Special Presentation - "Challenging Internment"… more

The Trio featuring…

Sep 4 - 4, 2014
Join us for The Trio featuring Johnny Vidacovich, Roland Guerin, John Gros. more

17th Annual Save Our…

Sep 5 - 6, 2014
Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation is gearing up for its 17th Annual Save Our… more

Hidden Treasures:…

Sep 2 - 2, 2014
Join Friends of the Cabildo as the Louisiana State Museum's impressive… 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