December 13, 2007 through January 26, 2008
Reception for the Artist: Thursday, December 13, 7-9 pm
The Fahey/Klein Gallery is pleased to present Jill Greenberg’s new exhibition “Ursine”, a selection of portraits of grizzly bears, black bears, and polar bears. This exhibition reveals the fascinating expressions of these animals of the Ursidae genus, highlighting her subjects’ unique personalities, dispositions and body language. She photographed the over-sized creatures in outdoor studios in Calgary and Vancouver. Each creature’s painterly portrait reveals the bear’s ferocious and/or humorous expression, reflecting a quality that is visually delightful and engaging. Much like her earlier “Monkey Portraits”, her subjects from the animal world frequently appear to take on human characteristics in their expressions and mannerisms.
Jill Greenberg is also exhibiting work from her latest series titled, “Performance”. This selection of vignetted photographs shows young girls hanging in their worlds without any visual reference points. This new series highlights each figure suspended from harnesses seen from various angles and in unusual and dissimilar positions. Greenberg states, “This work is an exploration of ‘Performance’ in all its meanings; the child performer, or the child performing in school; in real-world achievements; rating their beauty and behavior as well as the act of being a girl where femininity is often a performance. These photographs are also about the frisson between the innocence of little girls and the rigging and gesture of their bodies. These gestures may appear forced or mannered but they are natural and athletic. Both of these little girls--one my daughter and the other a working child model/ actress—have been performing since they could smile. They are self-conscious of their body and beauty, yet their performance is rigged.”
These odd yet charming photographs are a display of delicate images that verge on the ethereal. Through these images, Greenberg mixes a classical study of movement, action, and suspension highlighted with a contemporary sheen of soft and glowing texture. This new work portrays her subjects dangling in a “hyper-real” world.
“Ursine” and “Performance”, though visually different in subject matter, both demonstrate Greenberg’s signature style of manipulation, saturated color and rich texture, revealing subject matter that is both real and unreal, subtle and dramatic. The result is a compilation of vividly animated photographs that blend the notions of reality and the fantastical.
Greenberg’s previous work, “End Times” (2006), portraits of crying toddlers, and “Monkey Portraits” (2004) demonstrate the degrees of intensity in their various forms of expression. Both series have similarities rooted in their unique and theatrical presence. Said Greenberg, “When animals or children are going to make a face and show an emotion, it’s a deep-down, honest emotion. And then, of course, I make the photograph seem totally dishonest by putting it in an artificial setting--I take them out of their natural environments.” (TheMorningNews.org, 2007).
Jill Greenberg was born in Montreal, Canada and grew up in a Detroit suburb. In 1989, she graduated from the Rhode Island School of design with a BFA in Photography. Greenberg moved to New York to actively pursue a career in commercial and fine art photography, where she lived until 2000.
Her well-established list of clientele includes L’Oreal, MTV, and MGM among countless others, and her work is widely seen through the pages of GQ, Time, and Wired. Jill Greenberg’s first publication, “Monkey Portraits” (Bulfinch Press), was released in 2006 and she is currently working on her second trade publication, “Bear Portraits” set to release in Spring 2008. Limited edition exhibition catalogues are available from “End Times” and “Monkey Portraits”. Greenberg currently lives in Los Angeles with her husband Robert and her two young children.
Limited Edition Catalogue with Signed Print Available
Press Images Available Upon Request.
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