It’s hard not to love Jefferson Hayman’s photographs. They are beautiful and brilliant in their simplicity and Jefferson adds to the experience by framing the images in wonderful vintage frames, creating groupings that call out to any empty wall space. Jefferson’s photographs are on exhibition at the Ampersand Gallery in Portland, sharing wall space with Brandon Fernandez through May 27th.
In conjunction with the exhibition, Jefferson has a new book, I’ll Find Another One Prettier Than You, and like his photographs, the book is a discreet size that packs a big punch. I’ll Find Another One Prettier Than You was designed and published by Ampersand, and is in an edition of 200. Printed on Mohawk Superfine paper and with a forward by Robert E. Jackson, the book contains 45 photographs. For more information or to purchase a copy, go here.
Jefferson’s work is informed by the aesthetic qualities of photographs from the turn of the 19th Century. Moreover, his gelatin silver & platinum prints are presented in antique & artist made frames, positioning him as both photographer & craftsman. “When viewing his photographs,” writes collector Robert E. Jackson in the book we have published featuring Hayman’s work, “we are captivated by a sense of stillness & timelessness. Each image, whether depicting something man-made or containing a face, exists as a still life. Flesh is mutely rendered as if the skin of some exotic fruit. Objects take on the somber persona of a timeworn visage.”
This dichotomy of form & figure, of object & face, informs the selection of work Hayman made for the exhibition. While drawing in large part from recent figure & portrait work, the exhibition also includes still life arrangements of skulls & human bones. The pairing is a subtle reminder that what lies beneath the suppleness of the human form is indeed mortally still.