In My Stairwell
January 26 through March 4, 2006
Reception for the Artist Thursday, January 26, 7-9 p.m.
The Fahey/Klein Gallery is pleased to present the photographs of Mark Seliger, b. 1959. This exhibition is a selection of Platinum Photographs from Seliger's newest publication, "In My Stairwell" (Rizzoli). Featuring photographs of today's most influential artists, musicians, entertainers and personalities, including portraits of Matthew Barney, Cindy Sherman, Willie Nelson, and Tom Wolfe. Seliger utilizes the bare, pre-war brick of a hidden elevator shaft - discovered in his New York loft at 162 Charles Street - as a blank canvas to capture the essential moment of his subjects.
162 Charles Street, purchased by Seliger in 1996, was once a storage warehouse and a horse stable for a women's correctional facility. In order to be brought up to code, the building underwent a significant renovation during which time the old elevator shaft with three brick walls topped by a skylight was discovered. Seliger had found the perfect setting with the perfect light. "I knew I wanted to give this collection a sense of consistency," Seliger comments in the book, "and I figured out, or decided that place, or rather, the specific space of the stairwell would provide a sense of familiarity for the viewer. In essence, the stairwell became the common denominator…" Seliger's austere backdrop brings every nuance of the character he captures into focus. "…the stairwell was one of the most honest places in which I had ever photographed. Subjects had the freedom to become whatever they wanted and everything that happened was equally relevant" (Mark Seliger, In My Stairwell).
Seliger's innovative and arresting celebrity portraits have become nothing less than iconic. His uncanny ability to coax his subjects into revealing deeper elements of themselves is rarely seen in images by even the best photographers in his field, but he consistently draws depth and insight from his subjects. "I conceive of the Stairwell Project as a body of work that documents a particular period of time. These photos serve to illustrate when something took place - a certain amount of it is documentation and a certain amount of it is purely aesthetic. Either way, it's an evolution" (Mark Seliger, In My Stairwell).
Mark Seliger has worked for such prestigious magazines as Rolling Stone, Us Magazine, GQ and Vanity Fair. As the Chief Photographer for Rolling Stone, he has shot more than one hundred covers. He has received numerous awards and his work has been exhibited in galleries around the world. He has published several books including: When They Came to Take My Father: Voices from the Holocaust; Physiognomy; and Lenny Kravitz/Mark Seliger. Seliger is also a singer/songwriter for his band, Rusty Truck. He lives and works in New York City.