Saturday, January 1, 2011

Michael Wolf, iseeyou @ Bruce Silverstein

Silverstein does occasionally surprise with the quality of its living photographers. Last year, Michael Wolf had a solo show at Aperture of photographs looking into the windows of large office buildings. The show was a little too formal with touches of the occasional faint narrative, but the interesting part was that it was made possible through a grant from U.S. Equities Realty, which I’d like to imagine leans heavily on work like Wolf’s, showing floor after floor of office buildings bustling with renters, spaces that in no way should anyone worry are quickly emptying out.

The current Michael Wolf show at Silverstein also includes pictures through office windows as well as portraits of people stuck against subway windows. The subway pictures are clever, but get stale after a picture or two. The real stars of the show are Wolf’s images culled from Google Earth views, which happen to include a naked woman on a rocky beach, an old couple toppling over and a motorcyclist flipping off the camera. 

Wolf has maximized the potential of these accidental images by finely cropping and curating them, yet as wonderful as these moments are, the pictures are awkward and often dull.  Which is a nice affirmation of the need for quality photographers not only to capture wonderful moments but also to process them into something meaningful and engaging. 

Through Dec. 24th
Bruce Silverstein (535 W 24th St. Btw. 10th & 11th Ave.)


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