Ben Gest: Commissure
Digital Photographic Portraits take on Painterly Qualities in Commissure
September 11, 2010 - January 23, 2011
Opening Saturday, September 11, 2010
The Contemporary Museum will open Ben Gest: Commissure, a solo exhibition featuring the psychologically-charged work of photographer Ben Gest on Saturday, September 11, 2010. Commissure is the third installment of the Contemporary’s Project 20, a yearlong series of exhibitions celebrating the museum’s 20th anniversary. The exhibition will feature 20 large-scale portraits that present a complex view of contemporary life and domestic relationships. Although Gest’s images depict mundane, everyday actions, such as cooking, gardening, or doing laundry, his subjects’ expressions evoke internal reflection, existential doubt, or melancholy, giving new meaning to ordinary gestures and familial relationships.
Gest creates his works by taking as many as 100 digital images of his subjects. These images are then digitally merged, manipulated, and rendered together to create a finished composition. The slight variations in the movements of his subjects and the layering of dozens of images causes subtle elongations of the body, distortions of the picture plane, and disruptions in perspective. In this way, Gest infuses the works with references to the Mannerist style of painting of the High Renaissance, characterized by elongated forms, awkwardly-balanced poses, and an exaggeration of space.
Gest resides in New York and teaches at the International Center of Photography.
The Contemporary Museum
100 West Centre Street