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Partners' Picks of the Show

Black & White Invitational

Gallery Partners have chosen our "Picks of the Show" bv Guest Photographers

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All images copyright by the individual photographers

Arboretum #4 by Bruno Chalifour

Arboretum #4
by Bruno Chalifour

22 x 31-inch $520

Bruno’s photography is all about light – what it reveals, what is hidden and the interplay between them.  He says in his Artist Statement that B&W photography is about light and imagination.

 This photograph, Arboretum #4, is a beautiful realization of that statement. The light seems to dance across the image, touching the grasses revealing their delicacy. The composition pulls our attention to the brightest area in the foreground where we can spend time noticing each of the finest strands of grass and the plumes of seeds that seem to be suspended in dark space. Each element is distinct and calls out for undivided attention.  

The light takes us on a clockwise flow, foreground to background and back, stopping anywhere along the way to enjoy the delicacy of the light. The shadows, filled with shapes and forms, proved the context that gives the light such life. The bright tall stalk at the upper right plays counterpoint to the peaking cluster on the left. The fern at the center stretching to the left claims its space against the dark. One can imagine that the small patch of sunlit grasses in the very front wants to join the flow.  There are so many elements that work together to give life to this remarkable photograph.


Twin Reflections by Marie Costanza

Twin Reflections
by Marie Costanza
12 x 12-inch, $165

Maria completes her tenure as a Visiting Artist this month with another excellent exhibit she has titled "Little Beauties in Nature". In these photos she focuses not on flowers but small ducklings that she sees close to her home in the photo Twin Reflections.

Symmetry is effectively used as the ducks are mirrored in the water below.  The dramatic use of black backgrounds, a theme that Marie effectively uses, isolates the birds and makes them pop out of the frame (which by the way is beautiful as well). 

The strong colors of the birds, with a diminished vibrancy in the reflections and the hint of the water’s color make this composition.  The smaller framing of this work contributes to the title of Twin Reflections

This is a photo that never fails to bring a smile to those who view it and it would be a great addition to one’s home, especially as the pandemic hopefully continues to wind down.


Her 5th Avenue by Megan Crandlemire


Her 5th Avenue
by Megan Crandlemire
16 x 20-inch, $175

I stood looking at this photo for a quite a while. It’s just so haunting! Megan enjoys making photographs of subjects she happens upon that invoke some sort of feeling and she has done so with this “gritty reality.” Fifth Avenue is a major thoroughfare in the borough of Manhattan in New York City. It is considered one of the most expensive streets in the world and yet this huddled up woman next to a garbage can challenges that assessment directly. The composition is perfect with the lost and forgotten woman large and demanding attention in the foreground as she views the affluent avenue before her.  Contradictorily the young shoppers and the hustle-bustle of city life ignore her presence. This is a very powerful piece and says so much about who we are. 

Keep an eye out for Megan’s book, 52 Magic Mondays where she includes this photograph as part of her 52-week photographic project in New York City.

Helianthus Gloria by Elena Dialai helianthus gloria (Sunflower Glory)
by Elena Dilai
19 x 25-inches, $240

In her artist’s statement, Elena discusses how she enjoys photographing withered flowers, trees and things that are old, discarded and forgotten. 

One of Vincent Van Gogh’s most beautiful and lesser known works is not depicting vases of fresh sunflowers (which are beautiful paintings) but dead sun flowers. They are withered and desiccated but still beautiful. The original owner of this paining (now at the Kroller-Muller Museum in the Netherlands) had this photo displayed behind her casket at her funeral, she loved it so much.

There is actually a “personality” of this sunflower, captured in this beautiful photograph. It displays a
"gesture” which the viewer immediately picks up on:  sadness, old age, acceptance of its fate, etc.

The composition is beautiful, along with the colors which still reflect the sunflower’s previous  glory as a fresh flower.

Still the beauty of this flower is captured by Elena, even though it is no longer the subject of so many photographers who photograph fields of fresh sunflowers which are also so beautiful and plentiful in the area.

Windy Afternoon by Rick Garvia


Windy Afternoon
by Rick Garvia
18 x 24-inch, $220

A part of the mystery of photographs is their ability to set a story unfolding in our minds.  We can begin to wonder. As described in his artist's statement,   Rick has captured this sense of mystery, calmness, beauty, documentation and timelessness in his photo Windy Afternoon.

The woman is heading into the wind, holding her hat. Her long top garment (looking almost like a cape) blowing back in the wind.  Motion and movement are clearly one of the themes in this image.   She is walking out to the frame, moving deeper into the woods, where all the details have vanished into the dark. She almost battles the wind to get to her destination, but what is it?

The structure on the right also provides another mystery…it is only discovered as you observe the image but it counterbalances the right side of the photo. 

Rick uses tones effectively in this image, shades of gray showing a firm hand on the fundamentals of photography. All of these components make this work challenge the viewer to understand the “back story”, the “who”, “what”, “where” and “why”…..questions that make this a photo with a  strong impact on the viewer.

Steam Boiler Worker by Pat Luke

Steam Boiler Worker
by Pat Luke
20 x 24-inch, $225

Pat has displayed a beautiful series of Black and White photos, focusing on people.  Steam Boiler Worker is a wonderful “homage” to the work of Lewis Hine; Powerhouse Mechanic Working on a Steam Pump.

In Hine’s photo he shows a working- class American in an industrial setting.  The man is hunched over, surrounded by the machinery that defines his job.  But while constrained by the machinery the man is straining against it, muscles taunt with a determined look—an iconic representation of masculinity.

Pat has turned the table on this iconic image, replacing the man with a woman in his photo Steam Boiler Worker.  The model has the same determined look, overalls displaying her powerful arms and shoulders. 

The woman looks out from the photo, making eye contact with you.  She is holding a large wrench, looking like she took a short break from her work to pose for this photo.

The lighting, so critical for Black and White photographs, is beautifully rendered. The heavy equipment in the background is only minimally lit, so that it does not take over the photo but is still visible to set the environment, that she is working in.

It is wonderful to see how Pat has translated a classic image to our modern times, while keeping the connection with Hine’s classic photo.

Almost Paradise by d. dargan teska Almost Paradise
by d. dargan teska
18 x 24-inches, $135

A frequent exhibitor at Image City, Deb displays excellent monochromatic and infrared photographs. This month is no exception. She has four IR photos from a getaway in Cooperstown, NY a year ago. The landscape looks particularly brilliant in the afternoon sun following a downpour and Deb’s photos are a view of the luminosity of landscapes. Using her IR camera, the greens become sparking whites and the blues are rendered in lush blacks. Almost Paradise is simply gorgeous. The photo reads perfectly from left to right along a coastline of a lake or river and one can picture oneself kayaking through the scene. A large block of trees stops the view on the right, but that assists the viewer to stay with the scene that Deb envisioned, and the eye returns on a parallel line of reflections to explore other areas within the frame such as the reflection of the clouds with the lily pads in the lower right-hand corner. Thank you, Deb, for sharing what must have been a magnificent day.

Eye of Ecotopia by Michael Tomb and Marcia Zach Eye of Ecotopia
Michael Tomb and Ma
rcia Zach
11 x 14-inches, $160

Michael and Marcia’s, The Eye of Ecotopia is a delightful rendering of beautiful salad ingredients organized to appear as an eye. The origins of “Ecotopia” are derived from a 1975 novel and is a combination ‘eco’ and ‘utopia’ and posits the question of what society might be like if technology would be used so that not only human health and sanity are preserved, but also social and ecological well-being, that is creating a balance between humans and nature. Marcia and Michael extend this idea to an “organic collage” creating a visualization from layers of homegrown vegetables, flowers, leaves, seeds and items such as bark, broken pots and stones. They order seeds from around the world early in the year and plant them in their urban gardens. As plants mature, they consume some of the food themselves and create an abundance of color, pattern and form for their creations from the rest. At the end of the season, they save seeds for the regenerative process that mimics the ideas of Ecotopia. The Eye of Ecotopia is a beautiful circular design of leaves, petals, seeds, and stems placed on wooden slats and displayed as a pinwheel. As with a pinwheel, one’s eye moves continuously in contemplation of the layers, pattern, colors and movement that may be seen within the image. Thank you, Studio Michaelino for a marvelous project of creating landscapes and abstracts encompassing a world view of sustained life!

Rose and Sculpture 3 by Andrew Wohl Rose and Sculpure 3
Andrew Wohl
15 x 20-inch, $275

Conceptual photography is a type of photography that illustrates an idea. There have been staged photographs like this made since the medium's invention. Andrew was selected to participate in the B&W Invitational because he has a knack for doing just that. Andrew has presented us with 12 such conceptual photographs, all of which are similar, yet decidedly different. Using a simple sculpture and a rose (or artichoke), he masterfully wraps light around his subjects to create a wonderful world of seemingly conflicting textures. The softness of the rose is cradled by the rigid hardness of the stone. The alternately black and white matted photographs add to the creative spirit. A single photograph would have sufficed, but a collection of twelve cements the creativity Andrew was after.

Image City Photography Gallery  ♦   722 University Avenue  ♦    Rochester, NY 14607 ♦ 585.271.2540
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