Photography

Photography

Vignette: James R. Southard

 "Untitled" by James R. Southard, Archival digital print, 18x28in, 2018, $750

"Untitled" by James R. Southard, Archival digital print, 18x28in, 2018, $750

Most recently, James R. Southard has started to turn the lens around towards himself, altering his regional material gathering technique into a biographical survey of his late father’s experiences in the 1970s. The resulting work has been a digital collage of still and moving images along with life action shots building a body of work that hopes to open a dialogue with his young father and himself.

“These (untitled) images were created from the thousands of slides my father shoot 40 years ago on his return from a tour of duty during the Vietnam War. He was actually at a similar point in his career and life as I am now, so I found this material very relevant to my current studio practice.”

Although we can assume that there is some degree of manipulation in the three images included here, it is not always clear what is the separation between the elder Southard’s original and his son’s contribution. But there is an unmistakable yet subtle incongruity that demands a close inspection, drawing the viewer into a close relationship with the work. Even the magnificent, apparently natural view of a city from between two high hills may not be what we assume.

The other photographs presented here are the latest example of Southard working with small community groups in the hopes of building collaborative digital photo and video projects. Each series has been catered to the issues and concerns of each region though documenting local habits, patterns, rituals, language, history and so on. 

“In the summer of 2018, I spent a month in rural northern Vermont working with local dairy farmers. I was interested in documenting the changing state of affairs up there due to milk prices and costs of farming. Farms that have been in the family for generations are now going broke. This landscape looks to fade away soon and many of the farmers were interested in my capturing their lives before it disappears.”

 "Untitled" by James R. Southard, Archival digital print, 18x12in, 2018, $500

"Untitled" by James R. Southard, Archival digital print, 18x12in, 2018, $500

Farms and cattle have been photographed ad infinitum, but Southard’s take is fresh and unique. Perhaps in part because the rural landscape has come to seem so foreign and removed from modern life, yet there is a delicate and irresistible tension in the cow caught in mid-turn, as if he has been arrested in the first stage of a much more dramatic action. Is he about to fall, or about to confront the photographer intruding on her haystack reverie?

In fall 2018, Southard will have a solo show at Vermont Dairy, Working Title, University of New Mexico-Taos, Taos, NM. Since 2014, he has been a Full Time Lecturer for the School of Art & Visual Studies at University of Kentucky, Lexington.

Hometown: Middletown, Kentucky
Education: BFA University of Louisville 2005
MFA Carnegie Mellon University 2011
Website: www.jamesrsouthard.com

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 "Untitled" by James R. Southard, Archival digital print, 16x28in, 2018, $750

"Untitled" by James R. Southard, Archival digital print, 16x28in, 2018, $750

 "Untitled" by James R. Southard, Archival digital print, 18x12in, 2018, $500

"Untitled" by James R. Southard, Archival digital print, 18x12in, 2018, $500

 "Untitled" by James R. Southard, Archival digital print, 18x28in, 2018, $750

"Untitled" by James R. Southard, Archival digital print, 18x28in, 2018, $750

 "Untitled" by James R. Southard, Archival digital print, 16x16in, 2018, $500

"Untitled" by James R. Southard, Archival digital print, 16x16in, 2018, $500


Written by Keith Waits. Entire contents copyright © 2018 Louisville Visual Art. All rights reserved

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Photography

Vignette: Zed Saeed

 "Loreen Suleiman (Kurdistan") by Zed Saeed, Settled in Louisville by Catholic Charities-Migration and Refugee Services, Gelatin Silver Print, 20x24in, NFS

"Loreen Suleiman (Kurdistan") by Zed Saeed, Settled in Louisville by Catholic Charities-Migration and Refugee Services, Gelatin Silver Print, 20x24in, NFS

Some of the faces look like they could be from Louisville. Maybe the man grew up in the Russell neighborhood instead of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Other faces are wrapped in a hajib or other fabric head covering, so that we immediately assume that they have come here from another part of the world, even though we know America has a large Muslim population. Yet others show something about the features, or the set of the eyes, or maybe an expression of uncertain humility that feels unfamiliar to anyone born in the U.S.

Zed Saeed is an art and documentary photographer currently working with recent refugees and immigrants that have settled in Kentucky. In Louisville, he connects with these individuals mostly through the Catholic Charities-Migration and Refugee Services. Saeed believes strongly in the power of photography to create connections and to alter perceptions about people, places and things.

There is incongruity in the idea that a recent arrival from Somalia wears a Twilight: New Moon hoodie, and mistrust in the face of one girl, a distinct wariness that is missing in her sister, whose open and peaceful countenance peers out from with a hajib. Their family has fled the Syrian Civil War, traveling halfway across the globe, to a place entirely foreign to them, not by choice, but simply to survive – to live.  

 "The Suleman Family" by Zed Saeed, Settled in Louisville by Catholic Charities-Migration and Refugee Services, Gelatin Silver Print, NFS

"The Suleman Family" by Zed Saeed, Settled in Louisville by Catholic Charities-Migration and Refugee Services, Gelatin Silver Print, NFS

Saeed captures these people with stark simplicity that refuses to overlay any agenda except to witness them in all of their humanity. Most Americans cannot easily fathom the danger of their treacherous journey, or the heartbreak of having your community devastated by the horrific violence of modern-day warfare. If we ask ourselves whether or not we could find the courage, how would we answer - yes or no?. Perhaps this family never imagined that they could either, until there was no other choice. Can we accept such perseverance as anything less than heroic?

Saeed is currently featured in Looking Up: Heroes For Today – An LVA Exhibit at Metro Hall, which is on exhibit through January 11, 2019 at Louisville’s Metro Hall, 511 West Jefferson Street.

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His photographs have been featured in Louisville magazine and shown at local galleries. Saeed is a grant recipient for his photographic work from the Kentucky Documentary Photographic Project and the Kentucky Arts Council. Saeed has also taught photography for many years around the country. He is currently a student at the Hite Art Institute at University of Louisville in the Masters of Fine Art program.

Hometown: Los Angeles, California
Education: BFA in Film Studies from Hampshire College, Amherst, MA; In his second year (of 3) at U of L's Masters of Fine Art program at the Hite Art Institute.
Website: www.zedsaeedphoto.com

 "Parveen Suleiman (Kurdistan") by Zed Saeed, Settled in Louisville by Catholic Charities-Migration and Refugee Services, Gelatin Silver Print, 20x24in, NFS

"Parveen Suleiman (Kurdistan") by Zed Saeed, Settled in Louisville by Catholic Charities-Migration and Refugee Services, Gelatin Silver Print, 20x24in, NFS

 "Montgomery Street School (Trophy Room)" by Zed Saeed, (Light painting photography), Photo: 20”x30”. Frame: 32”x42”. Metallic Print, $750

"Montgomery Street School (Trophy Room)" by Zed Saeed, (Light painting photography), Photo: 20”x30”. Frame: 32”x42”. Metallic Print, $750

 "Montgomery Street School (Men's Room)" by Zed Saeed, (Light painting photography), Photo: 20”x30”. Frame: 32”x42”. Metallic Print, $750

"Montgomery Street School (Men's Room)" by Zed Saeed, (Light painting photography), Photo: 20”x30”. Frame: 32”x42”. Metallic Print, $750


Written by Keith Waits. Entire contents copyright © 2018 Louisville Visual Art. All rights reserved.

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Photography

Vignette: Neal Johnson

 "Lightening Rod" by Neal Johnson, Photography, 16x20in, 2014, $175, archival pigment print, edition of 5

"Lightening Rod" by Neal Johnson, Photography, 16x20in, 2014, $175, archival pigment print, edition of 5

One of the missions of photography is to make us see the world around us through different eyes. We drive by a building every day on the way to work, or pass by a bridge, or a park, only rarely, if ever, stopping to see the shape and dynamic of things; how they define the personality of a community.

Architectural and contemporary landscape photographer Neal Johnson works in Louisville, Kentucky, and his deceptively simple images perform this function for the viewer, but occasionally they do much more. In “Lightening Rod”, a light fixture for a public space evokes mystery and the suggestion of an enigmatic presence representative of “the other” (think monolith from 2001: A Space Odyssey). The light seems to have some intention beyond simply illuminating a dark place.

“Look Out” captures a human structure that echoes the verticality of the forest surrounding it, but it also seems to imply the limitations of human design; functional but never as prosaic as the tree it unknowingly emulates, it provides an approach that, could be argued, allows us to position ourselves as superior to nature. And “Space School” locates an arrangement of contrasting forms bisected by another strong vertical and reinforced by color and the placement of an oversize numeral character.  

That idea of disruption doesn’t preclude harmony, as we see in “Invasive”. Here Johnson suggests that such an intrusive quality emanates from the natural world, so that we are made to question some of our assumptions about the imprint our species make on the earth. Once humans began using tools, we changed the world, but how much of our invasiveness fits into the organic equation, and at what point did we tip the balance?

 "Space School" by Neal Johnson, Photography, 15x15in, 2013, $150, archival pigment print, edition of 5

"Space School" by Neal Johnson, Photography, 15x15in, 2013, $150, archival pigment print, edition of 5

Johnson will be exhibiting photographs from his 'Future Perfect' project at PART Studio, 815 South 6th Street, in the South of Broadway area of downtown Louisville, with a public reception April 26th from 6:30-9:30pm. 

Hometown: Louisville, Kentucky
Education: Associates degree in graphic design.
Website: Nealparkerjohnson.com

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 "Look Out" by Neal Johnson, Photography, 16x20in, 2014, $175, archival pigment print, edition of 5

"Look Out" by Neal Johnson, Photography, 16x20in, 2014, $175, archival pigment print, edition of 5

 "Human Linked" by Neal Johnson, Photography, 17x24in, 2012, $25o, archival pigment print, edition of 5

"Human Linked" by Neal Johnson, Photography, 17x24in, 2012, $25o, archival pigment print, edition of 5

 "Invasive" by Neal Johnson, Photography, 15x15in, 2015, $150, archival pigment print, edition of 5

"Invasive" by Neal Johnson, Photography, 15x15in, 2015, $150, archival pigment print, edition of 5


Written by Keith Waits. Entire contents copyright © 2018 Louisville Visual Art. All rights reserved.

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Photography

Vignette: Ku Hone

“An air of alienation, desolation, despair, aloneness is often pungent in my photos.” – Ku Hone

 "City under Abstraction" by Ku Hone, Photograph, 11x14in, 2016 $200

"City under Abstraction" by Ku Hone, Photograph, 11x14in, 2016 $200

Ku Hone is a photographer whose images encapsulate a fluid sense of place. His images seem to be taken at a very specific location, yet do not necessarily hold the information to identify exactly where we are. They are at once one, specific place and many other places. “Brooding Alley” includes what we assume is a street number, a salient detail by which to gain one’s bearings, but “Lines of Decay” and “Forms in White” speak on mostly abstract terms, the former image evidently modern architecture but the latter proves more elusive, much harder to pin down place or time except as an instance in the mind of the photographer.

Born in South Korea in 1974, Hone has been living in Louisville since 2010. His interest in photography started in early teenage years, but, while holding multiple academic degrees, he has received no formal training in art or photography.

 "Lines in Decay" by Ku Hone, Photograph, 16x20in, 2017 $200

"Lines in Decay" by Ku Hone, Photograph, 16x20in, 2017 $200

“My work attempts to gain new perspectives on the ordinary. I believe that only in a state of confusion can one’s mind spring out towards a new direction. Objects, patterns and such are no longer amusing once one makes the association between the subject and a preconceived idea of the subject already in one’s mind. I often strive to de-construct space in order to gain new (and often confusing) views of ordinary objects. The ultimate goal of such attempts is to kindle the viewers’ imagination and help them appreciate the beauty of the mundane.

“I also thrive in empty space or void. I believe negative space is not simply used to counter-balance positive space but to facilitate a new creative space where the viewer is able to project oneself into the scene. In that sense, it is an invitation to explore and to contemplate. For this reason, simple and minimalistic compositions of lines, curves, geometrical shapes, symmetrical and asymmetrical patterns and textures are abundant in my work. I believe that our innate perception of beauty in nature and objects is based on recognition of basic forms and shapes found within them. And this is how arrangements of simple (and seemingly meaningless) forms can give rise to beauty, meaning, and ultimately, emotions.”

“My work harnesses the absurdity of life. It is what alienates oneself from the world and the life itself. However, one must live on in the face of absurdity, forever searching for the elusive Emperor’s clothes. I believe streets of urban life reflect this struggle. Abandoned objects and disintegrating walls clash with and clutter our life. Exotic and vivid colors clash with one another, juxtaposed with neutral tones. The old clashes with the new. I believe my job is to find beauty and balance in such scenes in an attempt to find hope in the absurdity.“

 "Fantasia Nebbiosa" by Ku Hone, Photograph, 16x20in, 2017 $200

"Fantasia Nebbiosa" by Ku Hone, Photograph, 16x20in, 2017 $200

Hone is participating in Abstract in Kentucky, a Juried Exhibition running through February 24, 2018 at Kaviar Forge and Gallery in Louisville. He will also be a part of the Mellwood Art Center Spring Art Fair, February 24 & 25, and, later in 2018, the Open to Interpretation exhibit at the Community Arts Center in Danville, KY.

Hometown: Seoul, Korea
Education: BS, Environmental Toxicology, University of California, Davis, Davis, CA; MS & PhD, Toxicology, University of Rochester, New York
Website: https://500px.com/kuhone
Instagram: /ku_hone/

 

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 "Brooding Alley" by Ku Hone, Photograph, 11x14in, 2017 $200

"Brooding Alley" by Ku Hone, Photograph, 11x14in, 2017 $200

 "Forms of White (in Dark)" by Ku Hone, Photograph, 11x14in, 2016 $200

"Forms of White (in Dark)" by Ku Hone, Photograph, 11x14in, 2016 $200

 "Mama I Feel The Void" by Ku Hone, Photograph, 11x14in, 2017 $200

"Mama I Feel The Void" by Ku Hone, Photograph, 11x14in, 2017 $200


Written by Keith Waits. Entire contents copyright © 2017 Louisville Visual Art. All rights reserved.

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Photography

Vignette: Dolly Miller-Brennan

“It is the journey, not the destination.” Dolly Miller-Brennan

 "Christmas With Ava At Arabian Acres" by Dolly Miller-Brennan, photography, 20x24in, 2017, $600

"Christmas With Ava At Arabian Acres" by Dolly Miller-Brennan, photography, 20x24in, 2017, $600

Photographer Dolly Miller-Brennan embraces that well-used maxim without irony; it aptly fits her experience. Born in southern Illinois of Kentucky parentage and ancestry, she was raised in southern Indiana and western Kentucky.

“My love of photography began at age 3 sitting for what seemed like hours for my photographer/truck driver/horse trainer father”. Being allowed into the dark room with Daddy and seeing the awesome finished results made me want to be behind the camera and not in front of it.”

When Miller-Brennan photographs horses, she captures them in unique moments that stand apart from the abundance of other equine images that one encounters in Kentucky. That’s an accomplishment in The Bluegrass State, where photographs and paintings of thoroughbreds are ubiquitous. Perhaps that individual point-of-view emanates from the fact that some of these horses were photographed outside of Kentucky.

 "Westward Ho" by Dolly Miller-Brennan, photography, 24x20in, 2016, $350

"Westward Ho" by Dolly Miller-Brennan, photography, 24x20in, 2016, $350

“Returning to my roots where I grew up on a truck, with horses and a camera re-created in me the desire to impart the feelings of the animals, the aura of the area and the spirit of the people involved, to those who view my images. This established an emotional and spiritual perspective to see the world around me as one spiritual all engulfing abstraction; becoming so involved when out in the field that I sometimes can not feel my surroundings but lost in the soul of what I am shooting. I want the viewer to be able to step into that picture and become part of it. I want to bring my world and my art to real people, that makes us feel integrated with each other. There should be no separation from art and the real world for the world is a glorious masterpiece of art, created by God for us to love and enjoy.”

That a camera captures a moment in time, arresting motion, goes without saying, but Miller-Brennan’s horses almost occupy the place of close friends, since her images communicate not only the beauty and power of the movement, but also a relationship to the viewer. “Eye in the Sand” is notable for the intimate, unorthodox take on a horse at play, an unguarded joy evident in the creature’s eye that easily engages us.

 "Eye In The Sand" by Dolly Miller-Brennan, photography, 24x20in, 2015, $350

"Eye In The Sand" by Dolly Miller-Brennan, photography, 24x20in, 2015, $350

Miller-Brennan is a member of the El Paso Art Association, Southwestern Indiana Arts Council, (Evansville Indiana); The Tri State Art Guild, (Angel Mounds Indiana), including Southern Indiana, North Western Kentucky and South Eastern Illinois; the Richmond Area Arts Council, (Richmond, Kentucky); Louisville Visual Arts, (Louisville, Kentucky).

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Hometown: Robinson, Southern Illinois
Education: BA’s in Political Science and Studies in Photography, University of Wisconsin
Website: http://www.brennanartography.com/
Gallery Representative: The Village Framery (Palestine, Illinois); The Red Lantern Gallery (Poseyville, Indiana)

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 "Door To Knowledge" by Dolly Miller-Brennan, photography, 20x24in, 2017, $350

"Door To Knowledge" by Dolly Miller-Brennan, photography, 20x24in, 2017, $350

 "Run With The Wind Kentucky" by Dolly Miller-Brennan, photography, 20x24in, 2015, $350

"Run With The Wind Kentucky" by Dolly Miller-Brennan, photography, 20x24in, 2015, $350


Written by Keith Waits. Entire contents copyright © 2017 Louisville Visual Art. All rights reserved.

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