Some photographers shoot in order to expose, explicate, make visible that which is hidden. The artist John Beech’s aim is a little different: he seems to use his large-format photographs to talk about the hidden that’s in plain view, and he plays with concepts of revelation and disappearance.
Beech uses tape---in wide, painterly gestures---to obscure large swaths of photographs, leaving the viewer to contemplate that which is not seen. The photographs, all black and white, have a somewhat ominous cast to them, as if we’re looking at a crime scene but aren’t allowed to see the whole picture.
Beech says that the technique of using tape over the photograph is “a way to have a drawing on top of an image.
“And it’s point to the fact that even if you could see the whole photographic image you wouldn’t have a full understanding,” of what’s going on in the scene.
Beech’s show, titled "The State of Things" and currently up at the Peter Blum Gallery on West 29th Street in New York until March 19 , includes sculptures and other works. Like much contemporary art, the work requires the viewer to look beyond the surface: “It’s not really about gathering information, it’s about presence,” Beech says.
For details about the show, visit http://peterblumgallery.com/
(all images here courtesy of the artist and Peter Blum Gallery, New York)