October 27, 2000 - Atlanta Journal-Constitution

 

Finding Magic in the Everyday, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, p. Q8.

 

It’s difficult to decide what’s transcendent about some of the photography in the exhibition “Transcendent Moments.” Some of the artists do deal with the marvelous, in or out of the everyday, but other work sticks close to the grittiness of daily reality

Ted Haddock’s black-and-white work does a little of both, giving us a decisive-moment glimpse of the facial expressions of passers-by resembling those on the billboard behind them in “Reading Faces,” or citing a traditional symbol of transcendence – a starry sky – in a work from “Inseparable (Meditations on Psalm 8).” Perry Kirk’s “Virtual Custodian” is abstracted in a way that also might siggest a space beyond the daily world.  And Jamie Robinson’s unnerving close-up color portraits may represent moments of personal transcendence in the same way that Casey McKee’s sublimated or understated eroticism does in his “Dancer” series

Christopher May, by contrast, wrests a sense of mystery out of the most ordinary scenes.  His black-and-white images of a backyard fence and wading pool are suffused with the same nostalgic romanticism as his study of a bulbless lamppost in a twilit park. His sensitive architectural studies make “707 Averill” and its neighbor “709 Averill” appear utterly magical

Equally magical, Jill Corson’s lovingly composed documentation of reflections in shop windows uses the scene’s existing color in extraordinary ways. She captures the feel of specific cities through clever visual shorthand. In “Retro Mission,” for example, a passing bus is perfectly framed by the dark suit of the mannequin behind the reflection in the glass. In much the same way, the red buses of London become dramatic strokes of color in “New World Girl on the Old King’s Road.” In the equally dramatic “Eudaemonism in New York” (the word refers to valuing the creation of happiness), the spiral-shaped images overlaid on a street scene convey a sense of overflowing joy.

So the show may not quite define what it means by “transcendent,” but at least it gives a few clear examples.

— Jerry Cullum