Francesca Romeo & Tema Stauffer
Romeo knows her subjects intimately as they are fellow artists and patrons of the bar she owns on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. Drawing upon the aesthetic of both film noir and classical painting, she is interested in documenting her circle of friends that are emblematic of the new bohemia. She seeks out subjects that are affected by gentrification and that exhibit characteristics contrary to the mainstream in order to elicit a sense of psychological malaise.
Stauffer is exhibiting selected images from a work-in-progress inspired by the song, “A Ballad of Sad Young Men.” All of the subjects are photographed on Main Street in Binghamton, a small industrial city located in central New York well past its heyday. The young men she photographs are high school students and transient early twenty-somethings. Her approach contrasts to Romeo’s because she finds her subjects on the street and introduces herself as a photographer. While lacking a familiarity, there is a sexual tension that surfaces in the exchange between the photographer and the subjects.