Amy Stein and Stacey Arezou Mehrfar:
Tall Poppy Syndrome
Clamp Art - January 17th, 2013
Tall Poppy Syndrome is a collaborative project between photographers Amy Stein and Stacy Mehrfar. In their artists’ statement about the project, Stein and Mehrfar state: “As Americans we are taught to strive for success and celebrate those who distinguish themselves from the crowd. Tall Poppy Syndrome runs contrary to everything we know. From the moment we first heard this term we were compelled to investigate it further. In March 2010, we embarked on a month-long road trip around New South Wales, Australia's most populous state. We set out to meet everyday Australians and explore their reaction to this cultural phenomenon. Our journey is recounted in these photographs.”
Both photographers were present at Thursday night's opening, at the ClampArt Gallery in Chelsea. The exhibited pictures documented Stein and Mehrfar’s meetings with everyday Australians — from schoolchildren to rugby teams to surfers to elderly women — highlighting relationships between individuals and groups within Australian society.
Stein's personal work mainly focuses on peoples' own evolving isolation from their communities, cultures, and environments. She’s been exhibited nationally and internationally, and is featured in many private and public collections such as the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Museum of Contemporary Photography, the Nevada Museum of Art, the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, and the George Eastman House Photography Collection.
Mehrfar is based in Sydney, Australia. Her work has been exhibited internationally in the United States, Australia, and Europe, and is included in several public and private collections as well. In May 2011, she had her curatorial debut with “No Direction Home,” an exhibition commissioned for the Head On Photo Festival in Sydney, Australia, which featured contemporary American photographers working within the tradition of road trip photography.
ClampArt (located at 531 West 25th Street) represents a wide range of emerging and mid-career artists of all media with a specialization in photography. Tall Poppy Syndrome is on display from January 10 - February 16, 2013.