Jen Davis photographs plus-size women, also young and blond, in wistful scenes of attempted glamour or erotic longing. To add to the sense of alienation, the New York photographer sometimes poses her models with women who are conventionally alluring, such as a bikini-clad beach lounger in “Pressure Point” or a woman applying lipstick in “Primping.” Chris Anthony’s digitally compiled portraits are less psychological; the women the L.A. artist places in vast expanses are more visual motifs than characters. Still, there’s an implicit critique of classical art’s use of the female form in the white-on-white “Rebellion,” in which a woman in a voluminous dress imitates a sculpture, complete with plaster on her face.
There is one transvestite, but no women, in Marco Delogu’s “Cardinals and Criminals,” which puts clerics in the lineup with thugs. The Roman artist’s black-and-white Polaroids are stark and shadowy, but there’s a friskiness to the way he correlates the faces, all very serious about their respective callings. If John Waters doesn’t already collect Delogu’s work, he’ll probably start soon.
Christopher Griffith and Jenny Okun take very different approaches to landscape. The former’s black-and-white images of an industrial site and car-dealer pennants are so high-contrast that they suggest engravings. The latter’s collages of architectural details, composed in the camera but sometimes digitally enhanced, yield compositions that suggest such pattern-oriented miniaturists as Paul Klee, especially in more flat-seeming works such as “Olymbos Chapel, Karpathos, Greece.”
All but one of these artists shoot on film, although they may use digital technology to refine and print their work. The exception is Valentina de Matha, who doesn’t shoot at all. The Italo-Swiss artist hangs sheets of emulsified photo paper, streaked in chemical shades of gold, tan and gray. Her sculpture (which happens to be called “Untitled no. 2”) revels in form and shadow, but also laments what will be lost when all photography is digital: the lucky mistakes that yield beautiful metallic hues.
Craig Kraft and Camilo Sanin
The title “Unintentional Drawings” won’t seem that odd to gallerygoers with some grounding in dadaism and surrealism. Artists shaped by those movements have attempted to escape their own mind-sets by creating work through dreams or random choices. But the auteur of this small Heurich Gallery show is D.C.’s Craig Kraft, who’s well-known for his neon sculptures. How can a sculpture be a drawing, let alone unintentional?