Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Points of Her Views: Chloe Mann at Spray Booth Gallery

Try something for me, if you would.

Look around the space where you're sitting -- office, living room, coffeehouse, wherever you happen to be right now. Take in the big picture.

How long before  you started focusing on details?

Something always lurks to catch one sense or another and draw attention to itself, no matter how much we try to focus on a cohesive whole. This song has a great bass line. That bowl of chili has whole cumin seeds, rather than the powdered stuff. The other person's outfit is marked by a perfectly-chosen scarf or belt.

And so it is that the sweeping panoramas that make up Chloe Mann's photography show Take to the Road, on display at the Spray Booth Gallery in the Crossroads through Jan. 25, are all full of smaller, striking elements to which the eye naturally gravitates.

Photography is hardly ever, one could even say never, the whole truth, because any way you slice it, a photograph is still the artist’s perspective, an opinion, and not entire fact, Mann writes. Each place I photographed I’ve became familiar with, by taking in nature fully, uncontrollably, and engulfed in appreciating the moment in time given.

Sometimes that slicing is overt, as with Split (one of several pieces that required Mann to get down prone in the road with her camera).

In other frames (e.g. Meadow, below), the effect is more subtle. Yes, it's tempting to go straight to the horses, but check out that pool of light at the lower left.

Either way, there's plenty here to keep a viewer occupied and impressed, both with Mann's eye for wide open spaces and her gift for presenting the small, lovely parts that make up her ... well, big pictures.

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