Dan Winters

Periodical Photographs

July 30 – October 5, 2009

Press Release

DAN WINTERS
Periodical Photographs

July 30 through September 5, 2009
Reception for the Artist, Thursday, July 30, 7 - 9 p.m.

The Fahey/Klein Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of photographs by Dan Winters.  The exhibition consists of a selection of photographs from Winters’ first publication, Periodical Photographs.  Known for the broad range of subject matter he is able to interpret, Dan Winters is widely recognized for his celebrity portraiture, scientific photography, photographic illustration and photojournalistic stories.

Winters reflects upon his inspiration: “I think the interesting thing about photography is that what we’re doing, basically, is making stuff out of stuff.  You have to put yourself in front of something in order to make photography…You can think all day long about what you want to create but ultimately there has to be some sort of physical manifestation of it in order to achieve a photographic image.”  The presence of his stunning, classically-inspired portraits explores the complexities and idiosyncrasies of his subjects. Winters uses the lens, the lighting, and the environment to find the unique characteristics that have made his talented subjects iconic.  “It’s important to have a real awareness of place, or environment – interiors, exteriors, buildings, architecture, flora, fauna, light, water – every element there is…I’ve built my life around the idea that I take the picture, I process the film and then I print the thing myself.  I love that…I always feel like he final print is a culmination of all the love, and care that’s been put into the entire process. And, I think it really shows on some level in the final image.” (PhotoDistrictNews, pdngallery.com).

Periodical Photographs highlights Winters’ process, featuring images ranging from his portrait of Laura Dern to a photo booth, specially constructed for the cover of an Entertainment Weekly Special Issue. Ms. Dern, coiffed and appliquéd as a 1940’s ingénue, speaks first in her outline. It asserts the familiar language of the glamour photograph, the instant recognition of idealized commercial femininity.  But Ms. Dern’s expression, the distance of her gaze, the slight tension in her jawline belies the perfect lines of pearls and softly coiled hair.  She is objectified, and troubled by her objectification, capturing in one perfect glance the mystery and allure of Laura Dern’s extraordinary persona.  On the other side of his complex portfolio, there sits a photo booth.  Self-evidently ironic, the picture of the photo booth is both evocative of a youth long past, of carnival days, and the solitude of memory.  Alone, on a hard, reflective floor, the solitary seat sitting under the half-length curtain, housed in the plywood box of the image machine presents the cheap, industrialized accoutrements of modern notions of memory.  The picture of the picture booth is lonely, forgotten, and hopelessly outdated.  And yet, it stubbornly retains the iconography of a “happier time.”  Like all of Winters’ photographs, these images represent the complexities and contradictions, the paradoxes of the modern visual world.

After studying photography at college in California, Dan continued his formal education in documentary studies at the film school of Ludwig Maximillian University in Munich, Germany.  He began his career in photography as a photojournalist in his hometown in Ventura County, California, and after finding some critical success, he moved to New York City where magazine assignments came rapidly. In the years since, Dan has won over 100 national and international awards.  In 2003, he was honored by Kodak as a photo “Icon” in their biographical “Legend’s” series.  In addition to regular assignments for magazines such as New York Times Magazine, New York Magazine, The New Yorker, GQ, Esquire, Rolling Stone, and Texas Monthly, he continues commercial work for several international brands and film production companies, including Nike, Microsoft, Sony, Warner Brothers, Dreamworks, and 20th Century Fox.