Christopher Bucklow, "Guest 2.17 pm 25th July 1998", Color photograph, 100.5 x 76 cm, Unique
Edward Mitterrand Gallery is pleased to announce the first solo show in Geneva of Christopher Bucklow's "Guests". Bucklow sees these works as a collective self portrait.
The "Guest" series establishes a cast of characters drawn from his circle of friends - and in some cases - foes. Bucklow sees the figures as either representing types of personality that he already contains (and is comfortable with); or a character trait that he admires and aspires to incorporate within himself. Others signify types that he wishes to expel from his own mind. The full group is thus a self-reflecting gallery of portraits that represent different aspects of the artist's own psyche.
Unlike conventional photography, each image is unique and unrepeatable. The process Bucklow uses creates an unusually intense quality of light and the images are formed using sunlight with a technique similar to the pinhole photography developed in the late nineteenth century. He begins by making life-size silhouette drawings direct from the sitter's shadow on to sheets of aluminium foil, which is then painstakingly penetrated with thousands of pinholes within the outline of the shape. These pinholes will act as the camera's lenses. Using a large home-made camera, he then places the foil on top and loads colour photographic paper at the back. Sunlight is then allowed to shine through, recording many images of the sun and sky simultaneously, thus forming the shape of the figure on the paper behind. Bucklow achieves a variation in the different works depending on the intensity of the sunlight, the time of day and the speed at which the pinholes are exposed to the light...
Works from Guest and Tetrarch series are currently on tour as part of a group exhibition of works commissioned by Nokia, with Ron Fricke and James Turrell. The exhibition began at the Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, followed by New York in February. From there they can be seen in Los Angeles, Hong Kong, Singapore, Taipei, London and Berlin.
Green light is creeping through the shrubbery. What ever took place here or might happen in the next moment remains open. Bare of evidence the situation gives a delusive impression. Mike Silva's series of painted landscapes are based on photographic images and focus the viewer's attention on abandoned sites made of color and light. Beaten tracks lead through deserted parks, woods, among fallen leaves and muddy reflective puddles, vanishing into patterns of light and shadow.
While in past exhibitions Silva combined studies of anonymous urban landscapes with indoor-portraits of his friends, his latest series leaves out any obvious connotations of human relationships. At first sight Silva's work resembles conventional landscape painting but the familiar aesthetic he creates is deceptive. What initially comes into view as a realistic reconstruction of a snapshot or part of an imaginary storyboard dissolves into a luminescent camouflage structure that undermines the perception of the motive as a whole.
Behind their surface Silva's paintings don't reveal romantic desires but an abstract view of urban life, structured by skepticism and hedonistic curiosity, the interest in nondescript moods, encounters and actions.
Mike Silva graduated from the Royal College of Art in 1994 and was included in the 1995 New Contemporaries. Since then he has had a one person shows at Galerie Barbara Thumm, Berlin (2001/2000), Anthony Wilkinson Gallery, London (2002/1998/1995), Galerie Bouhlou, Norway (2002), Stephen Friedman Gallery, London (1996) and has been included in a number of group shows including Lombard Freid, New York, Barbara Gillman Gallery, Miami. Victoria Miro Gallery, London. His work is in a number of collections including: British Council, British Airways, Government Art Collection, Simmons & Simmons.