Long before I was a painter, I studied photography. Despite my choice of painting, as my primary art form, my affinity for the craft of Photography has never waned. A difficult path to trod, present day fine art photographers must struggle against the overwhelming barrage of visual commercial traffic so common in our daily lives. During my Ashley Flynn show, I was introduced to world renown Philadelphia –based Zoe Strauss http://www.zoestrauss.com/oestrauss.com/ . Zoe’s work is piercing cutting through the “stuff” of the façade baring the essence of her subjects. Like pure voltage, she connects the viewer to the source of power; nothing is lost in getting the image from the lens to our eye. It is clearly understandable why Zoe is one of the industry’s hottest and most respected shooters.
Young shooter Diane Russo http://www.dianerusso.com/ got my attention this past week with a handful of striking images. Exhibiting a naïve savvy and a Straussian punch, Diane’s introspection unveils the space that resides between the simple and the complex. Garnished in nuance, Dianne’s gentle hand takes the hard edge out of vulnerability exposing the soft under belly of circumstance. These images are intimate relational gestures offering a sensitive and sensual glimpse of form and figure.
I’m taken in by the mature and developed quality of Diane’s Images. So far beyond orchestration, there exists an organic sensibility. A male viewer, caught up in a unique perspective shift, I am mindful of the totality of the female form, its sexual orientation and the dramatic difference from male musculature and genitalia. These situational vignettes lend themselves to our exploration and participation. Masterfully, Diane slices through time, halting meter, giving us palatable chunks to savor. Intrinsically, the power of the form and figure as we know it transcends the moment, becoming art in its symmetry and flow. The captured and unfolding drama begs our investigation.
If we test the work and ask “so what” – “why is this good photography?” we can quickly reconcile the value and success of the work by its ability to elicit a genuine emotional response. Repeatedly, I’ve gone back for another look. Everyone that I’ve shown the work to agrees, beyond daring, the work is insightful, sensitive and honest. Diane gets my thumbs up and Young Artist of the Week Award.