Sean Kelly’s new exhibition by photographic artist Slater Bradley, “A Point Beyond The Tree,” is an intimate and personal photographic exploration of his version of an idealized woman. Beginning in 2011 Bradley began taking photos of his muse Alina for a two year period. Bradley said he took thousands of images over that period.
The instillation includes two sections. One is comprised of large color and black and white portraits of Alina. Bradley manipulated the photographs with markers to eliminate backgrounds and a reference of time and place – ultimately illuminating Alina's aura, mystic, and natural beauty – and various images are dusted in palladium leaf.
The other section of the exhibition is downstairs. A two-channel video installation called Sequoia. Bradley includes Alina in the presentation alongside references to classic films such as Chris Marker's La Jetée and Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo. Bradley isolates dialogue and mirrors sequences from the films while including Alina, who he states is his la jetée (“she was my la jetée”). The film is shot in super 8mm film, applying a raw, timeless quality that is both eerie and charming. The video is a unique and visually beautiful construction that evokes feelings of love, fixation, loss, and yearning. It is an appropriate compliment to the collections of stills of Alina in the upstairs gallery.
The exhibition is reflective, honest, and aesthetically original. The stimulating work is refreshingly personal and vulnerable. It is an interesting take on a man's manufactured perspective of the woman he invests his life and art into.
This exhibition runs from December 14th, 2013 until January 25, 2014.
For more on Slater Bradley, be sure to read an exclusive interview with the artist in Musée Magazine's upcoming Fantasy issue, due for release in early 2014.
Text and photos by Carlos J. Fonts