October 23 - November 15, 2008
Reception: Tuesday, October 28, 6 - 8pm
School of Visual Arts (SVA) presents “Seamless,” an exhibition of thesis work from the first graduating class of the Master of Professional Studies (MPS) in Digital Photography program. The exhibition is curated by artist and SVA faculty member Dan Halm.
Launched in the fall of 2007, the MPS in Digital Photography is a concentrated course of studies designed to address the needs of professional photographers, artists and educators who are seeking to advance their mastery of digital professional practices in order to create technically perfect, conceptually rigorous and aesthetically compelling images.
“The most exciting aspect of this program and the culminating exhibition is the diversity of the student body as seen in their photography,” says Katrin Eismann, chair of the department. Of the first group of graduates to emerge from the program, she says, “They are tenacious, talented, never shy to express their opinions, and more importantly, open to showing us how they see the world today.”
Taken together, the works in “Seamless” reveal the varied possibilities of contemporary digital image making. From image capture to painstaking enhancement and compositing, the bodies of work in the exhibition have been created entirely on a digital platform and span many genres, including commercial, fine art and landscape photography. From Christina Tisi-Kramer’s elegantly refined images in Jewelry and Nature, to the quiet urban observations found in Small Breaking by Jun Won Yoh, to the provocative images in Sean Basil McGiver’s series Drugs, Sex & Drag Queens, the exhibition presents a range of viewpoints to match the various aesthetics. Says curator Dan Halm, “The convergence of technology and each artist’s vision shows how endless the possibilities in digital photography really are.”
Much of the work in “Seamless” embraces New York City as its subject, from the abstract cityscape panoramas by Allen Furbeck in Tararium, to Nick Himmel’s series Nycthemeron, as he interprets his memories of growing up in New York using composites of hand-made models of historical landmarks. In New York Street Style, Ben Bobkoff documents the colorful fashion of urbanites, while June Young Lim creates textured images of water dancing around the landscape of New York in his series Like Water.
A documentary approach was taken by both David Lehman and Kristy May in their projects Afterwards and Turning Point, which respectively chronicle South East Asia and Greenpoint, Brooklyn. Heayeon Yoon and Brendan Austin each took a conceptual approach to explore the artistic potential of digital technology, she with Indelible, her series of images of submerged flowers evoking suicide, and he with his ethereal landscape project Sleeping Mountain. Entirely divergent approaches to glamour and fashion photography are explored by Andria Philips and Na Yeon Jin in Glamour Addict and Live for Fashion.
The images in the exhibition were all completed as part of the thesis requirement of the program, which includes developing a thesis project to be presented in web, book, and large format print form. From concept through production, each student’s thesis project was refined and vetted by the faculty, thesis advisors, and department staff, and finally presented to the thesis review committee. The great majority of works in the exhibition are archival inkjet prints, which were produced on the department’s Epson Stylus Pro 9880 and Epson Stylus Pro 3800 printers under the supervision of world-renowned photographer and digital expert Greg Gorman.
As Eismann explains, “Keeping up with digital technology is only possible by working closely with manufacturers, digital experts, and leading photographers from around the globe. We are grateful to those who have presented to our students, including Henry Wilhelm, Karl Lang, Martin Jürgens, Douglas Dubler, Sarah Silver, Brian Smith and David Alan Harvey.” The MPS Digital Photography Department has also been supported by Epson America Inc., X-Rite, Adobe Systems, PhaseOne, Leica USA, EIZO and the MAC Group.