Photographs of the poignant, iconic, beautiful, nostalgic and humorous abound in this exhibition, Great Photographs!, at Luise Ross Gallery. The photographers approach their worlds with sensitivity and sincere curiosity in a time when obsessive and narcissistic documentation is the norm. Within this exhibition there is an intimacy and an interaction between photographer and subject. Implied is that they too feel the conflict facing their subjects, the camera magnifying, not excluding them from it.
In Hai Zhang’s photographs we see images of rapid growth and the destruction of urban China. Though strikingly architectural, his concern lies with telling the story of people caught in the middle of this transition.
Jessica Hines tells the story of her brother who served in Vietnam and committed suicide ten years after his return. Not only are her photographs a way to tell his story, they are a means to understanding her brother’s life and death. This concept of processing death is also the driving force behind Phillip March Jones’ Polaroids of roadside memorials.
Many of the photographers paint portraits of aging people such as Gary Monroe whose photograph of a man seated on a bed is one of quiet dignity and repose. Kendall Messick’s muse is an elderly Broadway actress surrounded by pictures documenting her stage career.
The photographs shown address concerns of the human condition, childhood, old age, beauty, death, our environments, in short, the process of living. The resulting images are a documentation of each artist’s perceptions, and all are great photographs!