Image Above: ©Michael McLaughlin, Jorf Lasfar, Morocco, 2014. Courtesy of Robin Rice Gallery.
The Robin Rice Gallery presented a photographic exhibition by Micheal McLaughlin. The opening reception was held on Wednesday, January 14th, from 5:30 to 8:30 pm. The show will run through February 22nd, 2015.
Your Nearest Exit May Be Behind You, a reference to the traditional pre-flight instructions of airline hostesses, is fine art photographer Micheal McLaughlin's collection of the sights found universally in the act of travelling between countries and continents. From dark Hong Kong skylines shot through hotel room windows to the familiar, scratched silver buttons of a New York subway elevator, the resulting images are what McLaughlin describes as being "as much of a peripheral view as they are a direct view of the world."
Photographer, Michael McLaughlin
The minimalistic and boldly colorful images are highlighted by their size, which demonstrates a level of detail often missed by an initial glance. Some rectangular, somesquare, the images are each displayed in large-scale frames. A world traveler by profession, McLaughlin's new series of images is reminiscent of Ed Ruscha, Richard Diebenkorn, or Wayne Thiebaud, whom the artist cites as some of his many artistic inspirations.
The invitational image, entitled "Jorf Lasfar, Morocco", centers on a brightly-colored gas station, McLaughlin's pit stop on the way to the nearby city of Casablanca. Shot miles away from civilization, the small gas station is surrounded only by a vast sky of pink and blue sunset. The soft light of the sky juxtaposed against the artificial lights of the gas station gives a surreal effect to the otherwise commonplace subject. The painterly reflection of the lighting on the glistening concrete, meanwhile, contrasts drastically against the geometric, plastic structure of the gas station.
©Michael McLaughlin, Santa Monica, 2009. Courtesy of Robin Rice Gallery.
Across the ocean lies the inspiration for "Marshalltown, Iowa". The endless, grey-purple landscape of a barren cornfield peeks through a thick fog of winter. The cornfield stretches infinitely into the horizon, with only the vague trace of manicured rows of corn visible through the white frost on the ground. The muted grey sky above warns of an incoming storm, which McLaughlin was waiting to pass in his car at the time the image was captured. Shot through the car window, the soft, minimalistic image is a mysterious, other-worldly take on the farmlands of Middle America.
A third-generation Brooklynite, Micheal McLaughlin's interest in photography began at the tender age of 11. He attended the Nova Scotia College of Art & Design (BFA, 1983), and now works as a New York-based advertising and editorial location photographer. Among others, his clients include IBM, Apple, and American Express. McLaughlin has received honors from Photo District News, Communication Arts, and the NY Art Directors Club. McLaughlin lists a wide array of artistic influences, from fellow photographers (Robert Frank, Harry Callahan, Diane Arbus) to the writings of authors such as William Faulkner, Graham Greene, and Eudora Welty. This is McLaughlin's fifth solo exhibition at the Robin Rice Gallery.
©Michael McLaughlin, Newport, 2014. Courtesy of Robin Rice Gallery.
©Michael McLaughlin, Oslo, 2009.Courtesy of Robin Rice Gallery.
©Michael McLaughlin, SFO, 2014. Courtesy of Robin Rice Gallery.
©Michael McLaughlin, Hong Kong, 2010. Courtesy of Robin Rice Gallery.
All opening images by Andrew Morales