There’s a new gallery in town with a sweet grand opening show. Now I Am Myself opened at Wolff Gallery on April 7th and features the work of Audra Osborne, Briana Cerezo, Calethia DeConto, Jamila Clarke, and Lauren Crow.
The show as a whole is strong and it’s a treat to see an entire show dedicated to diverse female photographers. How great is it to have a gallery state on their website that their “goal is to broaden the Portland art scene by prioritizing the exhibition of work by traditionally underrepresented artists”? Photos varied in price but there were a number of small works at very reasonable prices for people who want to support artists but can’t drop hundreds on a photo yet.
Lauren Crow’s photos are reminiscent of Nan Goldin’s early works with a hint of Catherine Opie. The lighting used in the small selection of grouped photos has stuck in my head and though not directly related, I keep coming back to the colors of The Gossip’s Standing in the Way of Control (CD version with hotpink case). I dig all those things so I dug these photos too.
Jamila Clark’s photos were a stand out to me. The scenarios are quite composed but manage to stay simple. Something To Cling To and The Shovel kept drawing me back to look at them. Audra Osborne’s Nope had the same effect. Maybe it’s the use of a bright dress in a more muted background? Women presenting themselves with their faces deliberately obscured? A dramatic moment captured with no explanation?
Briana Cerezo has a fabulous series called p l a y i n g h o u s e on her website that is worth checking out in its entirety. Very Robert Gober but flesh instead of wax. They are obviously highly composed but seem effortless in execution, similar to Calethia DeConto‘s photographs in the back room.
In fact, the show for the most part is a breeze. With few exceptions the photos manage to be complex without being overworked in the setup. Here’s a moment. Here’s a moment. I don’t need to marvel at the expense and womanpower it took to set up the scene and lighting and can instead marvel at that moment captured and wonder at the story.
I eagerly await their follow up in early June.
Wolff Gallery is located at 618 NW Glisan Street. Hours are Saturday and Sunday, 1-5 pm with additional hours on first Thursdays from 6-10 pm. Now I Am Myself runs through May 13.