Abstract by Design at Jennifer Schwartz

Photographs by Tari Beroszi, Christine Carr, Laura Griffin, Adam Gruszynski, Ryan Nabulsi, Denielle Nigretto, Kyle Petersen and Judith Pishnery

“Abstract by Design” showcases a variety of contemporary approaches to abstract photography. Some photographers practiced straight abstraction, which warps the viewer’s perspective forcing him/her to look at the world in unique ways echoing Edward Weston’s sentiment that “the photographer . . . can depart from the literal recording to whatever extent he [sic] chooses”, as long as the methods remain “photographic.” Following in this vein, photographers such as Christine Carr, Laura Griffin, and Judith Pishnery use the camera’s propensity for distortion to give us an unexpected look at the world.

In contrast to Weston’s approach, the other photographers experimented with substances, chemistries or pixels and created photographs with exciting compositions. Artists such as Man Ray, Lucas Samaras, or David Hockney eschewed traditional notions of the photographic in order to experiment and transform their lens-based creations into complicated abstractions. Similar approaches can be found in “Abstract by Design” in the works of Tari Beroszi, Adam Gruszynski, Denielle Nigretto and Ryan Nabulsi.

Additionally, some photographers such as Duane Michals have used abstraction to create a narrative through a series of photographs. Kyle Petersen’s work employs the same technique to craft narrative photographs but by utilizing digital technology he gives the viewer a seamless composition of multiple photographs. With the rise of digital photographic technology, abstract photography has splintered even farther because of the ease in which one can transform the regular photograph. However, abstract photography still requires a vision, a purpose, and most of all, the audacity to experiment with tradition. “Abstract by Design” encourages viewers to consider photography in a different way.

Born and raised in Puerto Rico, Tari Beroszi has studied art since age eleven, and received her MFA in Photography from the Savannah College of Art and Design in Atlanta. She currently teaches in her native Puerto Rico at the University of the Sacred Heart. Beroszi uses photography as a tool to translate the language of music into abstract images. To Beroszi, music triggers an emotional response and she uses her camera to capture these abstract concepts into a visual form.

Christine Carr describes her work as being about the intersection of worship, architecture, structure and the mystical. She seeks out non-descript surfaces that to serve as blank canvases that hold light. Cropping allows her to take out as much context as possible; however, Carr finds the most ideal locations are buildings that host stores, cars and entertainment, which many would argue are our modern day devotions. Carr received an MFA from the Tyler School of Art of Temple University in 2004, and has had solo shows in Virginia and Washington DC in addition to numerous group shows up and down the eastern seaboard.

Laura Griffin graduated from the University of Georgia in 1998 with a BFA in Photography and later moved to New York City where she earned her MFA in Photography and Related Media from the School of Visual Arts in 2001. Now working in Atlanta, Griffin blurs the lines between fine art and arts and crafts by photographing the art projects her young children bring home, creating interesting and unique compositions.

A Georgia native, Adam Gruszynski is currently a professional portrait photographer. Gruszynski received his BFA in Photography and Ceramics at the University of Georgia, and he believes his fine art photographs “capture a dark emotion, but a divine grace.” Through the compositions of each photograph, he makes the human identity insignificant when compared to the photograph in its entirety.

Mustafa Ryan Nabulsi received a BA in Philosophy from Bates College in Lewiston, Maine where he also trained as a traditional black and white photographer. Eager to continue his training in photography, Nabulsi attended the Savannah College of Art and Design where he received A MFA in Photography in 2009. Focusing on the so-called death of the Polaroid, Nabulsi uses expired or damaged film that many would shy away from, and instead embrace their imperfections.

Denielle Nigretto received her MFA in Photography from the Savannah College of Art and Design in 2010, and a BA from Rutgers University in Interpersonal Communication in 2007. Her photographic sculptures recreate the human form and act as a representative of the way a survivor of prolonged abuse grows up and processes human relations. Survivors of abuse compartmentalize their likes and dislikes of their bodies similar to a grid. This work aims to break down these walls and create a visualization of the whole self, which Nigretto calls “Remanufacturing the Self.”

Exploring internal emotions and the way they relate to the human experience, Kyle Petersen investigates the mental and emotional battles that take place among our relationships as well as within one’s self. He received a BA in Studio Art from Bradley University in Peoria, IL and his MFA from the Savannah College of Art and Design. Currently living in Atlanta, Petersen teaches at the Showcase School of Photography and Gwinnett Technical College.

Through Saturday, January 22, 2011.

Jennifer Schwartz Gallery
TULA Arts Center
75 Bennett St, Suite K2
Atlanta, Ga.
(404) 351-1050

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