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Upcoming Events

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“Giants of Jazz: Art…

May 25 - Dec 17, 2017
This spring, art and music converge as The Historic New Orleans Collection… more

Beyond the Canvas:…

May 25 - Jul 9, 2017
Spanning several generations, five Puerto Rico-based artists Zilia… more

Cecilia Vicuña: About…

May 25 - Jun 18, 2017
Cecilia Vicuña: About to Happen traces the artist’s long career to… more

Chicken on the Bone…

May 25 - Dec 6, 2017
Want to enjoy some nightlife? No trip to New Orleans is complete if you have… more

David Hansen's Garden…

May 25, 2017
Since 2006, Hansen's Garden District Jazz Trio has performed every night at… more

Heart of the House

May 25, 2017 - Jan 08, 2026
In The Voodoo Garden, All Ages. Heart of the House puts the spotlight on House… more

Jazz in the Park

May 25 - Jun 1, 2017
Jazz in the Park returns for its 11th season this spring running from March… more

Lilith in Loa…

May 25, 2017
From Laurel Canyon to the West Village, Nashville to New Orleans, the LOA Bar… more

New Orleans Museum of…

May 25 - Oct 8, 2017
Jim Steg (American, 1922 -2001) was the most influential printmaker to be based… more

New Orleans Museum of…

May 25 - Oct 1, 2017
In celebration of beloved chef, civil rights activist, and art collector Leah… more

New Orleans Museum of…

May 25 - Oct 8, 2017
Paintings from throughout Scully's career are presented with a selection of… more

Newcomb Art Museum -…

May 25 - Jul 9, 2017
Spanning several generations, five Puerto Rico-based artists Zilia… more

NOWFE Wine Dinner at…

May 25 - 25, 2017
Windsor Court is thrilled to once again be a part of the New Orleans Wine and… more

Senga Nengudi:…

May 25 - Jun 18, 2017
In 1975, artist Senga Nengudi began a series of sculptures, entitled R.S.V.P.,… more

SoFAB’s New Spring…

May 25 - Jun 1, 2017
The Southern Food and Beverage Museum (SoFAB) has just introduced its spring… more

The Georgian…

May 25 - Oct 16, 2017
For more than a century, a King George sat on the British throne. The Georgian… more

The Historic New…

May 25 - Oct 21, 2017
The Historic New Orleans Collection's Laura Simon Nelson Galleries for… more

The New Orleans Wine…

May 25 - 28, 2017
The New Orleans Wine & Food Experience is one of the premiere events in… more

Wines of Germany

May 25 - 25, 2017
Sip a new side of German wine with a guided tasting curated by Bill Burkhart of… more

BB's Stage Door…

May 26 - Jun 25, 2017
The Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s and 1930s comes to life in this three-time… more

“Giants of Jazz: Art…

May 25 - Dec 17, 2017
This spring, art and music converge as The Historic New Orleans Collection… 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