A recent visit to the artwalk in San Pedro, California, brought me to a terrific exhibition, Conjecture, by Larry Weise at Gallery 478. It runs through August 27th. The exhibition features work from three series, and all share the same characteristics of a selective focus and an intriguing darkness. It’s the details that make the images so interesting–glasses, hats, shapes, and taking a contemporary population and making it timeless.
From Gallery 478: Conjecture is a selection of figurative images befitting his reputation as a poetic maverick, capable of spanning time and space, recognition and memory, with eloquence and conviction. Black and white images, culled from the series Recall, are moody, atmospheric time-stoppers – single or multiple figures appear quietly and completely isolated within the frame, softened as if recalled. New color images from the Menschen portfolio reveal Wiese utilizing the very deliberate palette of a painter, with spare, almost magical color appearing against lush, dark grounds. Many images border on the abstract with multiple figures seeming to merge into one, or cut against the ground transforming the picture plane into a self-referential organization of color and shape.
My photography doesn’t define what I do, rather it defines how I think. My work has been characterized as dark, gothic, moody and somewhere along the line as “neo-pictorialist”. Someone once remarked that to understand my work was to understand the differences between Vivaldi and Wagner. What my work “is” or where it “fits in” doesn’t really concern me.
My photographs are metaphorical, they are from my imagination. They reflect the way I see and feel about those things which arouse my curiosity and imagination. Each of you may see and feel something different, this is as it should be. I feel there’s little value in “art-speak”, self-indulgent analysis or pseudo-intellectual rhetoric. Venturing beyond the mere emotion of seeing and feeling, and attempting to understand what was intended or meant to be or is or isn’t, is irrelevant, it is the viewer who, after all, makes the final determination of meaning.
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