Friday, May 9, 2008

Decontaminate



Arnaud Maggs
Contamination 2007

As part of Toronto's Contact Photography Festival, Susan Hobbs Gallery is displaying a new collection of photos by Arnaud Maggs called, "Contamination". Maggs is well known for his serial pieces (grid-like arrangements of black & white portraits, such as his "48 Views Series" – a "9-foot-high, 31-foot-long collection of photo-booth-type pictures of 162 people, each photographed 48 times") and this show continues to build on his earlier work. Arnaud Maggs came to fine art relatively late in life. While having a successful career as a graphic designer working in advertising and typography, Maggs, at the age of 40 decided to pursue art instead. It's this background that informs so much of his photography. Perhaps it's his designer's eye applied to his artistic pursuit or the other way around, his artistic eye guiding a highly skilled and meticulous technique yet whatever the case, the images seem to have particular interest to designers. There's something in the process of contemporary artists that fascinates and more crassly put, something from which we hope to glean insight and put in our own work. In this latest exhibit, a collection of images of empty mouldy sheets from a Gold Rush era ledger, each image forms a sectional view of the three-dimensional mould as it spread through the stack of pages, not unlike tree rings of a cut log. There's also more than a hint of sadness that accompanies the beauty of these images; as if someone's story was left untold and neglected through all those years. If you are in Toronto, then visit the gallery and see for yourself. For additional information listen to Julie Glick from the Mass Art Guide interview Arnaud Maggs from February, 2008 (run time: 22 minutes):

Click here to listen.

In this post:
Toronto's Contact Photography Festival
Susan Hobbs Gallery
Arnaud Maggs
Mass Art Guide

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