Reception sponsored by North & Company LLP
Elaine Stocki's photography draws upon the raw unpredictability of American street photography, yet exploits the refinement and control of studio-constructed images. Her large, hand-tinted silver gelatin prints balance photographic traditions with contemporary compositions and subjects from amateur wrestlers to classic nudes. Stocki's work evokes honesty and vulnerability, and remains unsettling for its constructed and anachronic nature.
Stocki's images are compelling, in part because of a strong sense of the uncanny the works evoke. The people she photographs appear to be subject matter familiar to documentary street photography, in which the lens boldly and surreptitiously captures an honest reflection of a particular time and place. Stocki's work shares this sensibility - but, in fact, her photographs are carefully composed scenarios that upon introspection are delightfully ambiguous. While subjects like that seen in the titular work 711 (a curly-haired strongman posed in purple tights against a palm tree) provide a rich context for storytelling, they resist any conclusive narratives and soon the powerful formal qualities of her work become increasingly apparent.
Stocki masterfully combines a formal, visual language with one that is emotional and human. Bold forms amplify physical contours and expressions; lively and experimental compositions activate the frame posturing as that 'decisive moment' that captures something real and personal. The saturation of hand-tinted colouring creates a peculiar juxtaposition of the contemporary and antiquated. In Stocki's work, these traditional, even obsolete techniques are extended, reconsidered and abstracted, pointing towards something artificial or manufactured. Revealing a wariness with the documentary in tandem with her emphasis on the handmade and personal, she arrives at something authentic, intimate and sincere.
Elaine Stocki was born in Winnipeg in 1979. She holds an MFA from Yale University. Her photographs have been exhibited in the US, Canada and Germany. Stocki's work has been featured in TIME Magazine and The New Yorker as well as published in a monograph by TBW Books (Oakland, CA). Stocki has been nominated for both the Grange Prize and the Sobey Art Award (2011 and 2012, respectively). She has been a visiting artist at the International Center of Photography (New York), Parsons The New School (New York) and Yale University (New Haven) and recently completed a residency at the Mountain School of Arts in Los Angeles. Stocki's work is included in the permanent collection of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
Funding assistance from the Canada Council for the Arts, Alberta Foundation for the Arts, and the City of Lethbridge.
- See more at: http://www.saag.ca/art/exhibitions/0691-711#sthash.m6XLC5Jt.dpuf
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