Perspectives - The Blog

Category: Red

DAVID LEVENTI {DIRECTOR’S SELECTION}

Posted by The Center on April 27, 2010


(Photo credit: Curtain, Palais Garnier, Paris, France, 2009 by David Leventi)

New York City-based photographer David Leventi has two photographs, Curtain, Palais Garnier, Paris, France, 2009 and Romanian Antheneum, Bucharest, Romania, 2007, featured in the Center’s “Red” exhibition. Curtain, Palais Garnier, Paris, France, 2009 was awarded the Director’s Selection. Both photographs come from his most recent series, Bjoerling’s Larynx, which documents the intricate interiors of world-famous opera houses.  Leventi’s photographs, through the use of a large-format view camera, capture the scrupulous architectural details that define these historic national landmarks. Each opera house becomes an allegory for the wealth of its respective nation.

On one level, Leventi’s documentation preserves the visual integrity of these luxurious interiors; while, on another level, the series is also deeply personal to Leventi himself:

The project is titled after Jussi Björling, a Swedish operatic tenor and arguably the best singer of the century – known for his technique, feeling and the range of his voice. Bjoerling debuted at the Royal Swedish Opera in Stockholm and eventually became a principal at the Metropolitan Opera in New York. These two spaces – and the others that I have photographed thus far – are the spaces in which my grandfather, Anton Gutman, never got the chance to perform. Gutman was a cantor trained right after World War II by Helge Rosvaenge, a famous Danish operatic tenor who sang regularly with the State Operas in Berlin and Vienna. While Gutman was interned in a prisoner-of-war camp in the Soviet Union, he performed for prisoners and officers. Nearly a half-century later, I grew up listening to him sing while he walked around our living room. As the son of two architects, I experience an almost religious feeling walking into a grand space such as an opera house.

You can read the rest of Leventi’s artist statement by clicking [HERE].


(Photo credit: Romanian Antheneum, Bucharest, Romania, 2007 by David Leventi)

More of David’s work can be found at www.davidleventi.com

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JULIA BAUM

Posted by The Center on April 26, 2010


(Photo credit: Drew by Julia Baum)

(Photo Credit: Erin, 2008 by Julia Baum)

Two portraits from Julia Baum‘s series, A Rare Breed, were selected by juror Amber Terranova for the “Red” exhibition. A natural redhead herself, Baum understands what it is that makes redheads so unique. As her photographs attest, it’s more than just the color of their hair. Over the course of her project she has been keeping a blog and regularly posting her latest portraits. You can visit her blog at: http://ararebreed.blogspot.com/

Redheads are not Baum’s only photographic forte, either. Her series, Houses, depicts the vibrant personality of residential constructions and suburban landscaping.

Baum’s artist statement for A Rare Breed reads:

A redhead myself, I use the photographic portrait to investigate elements of what makes the red-haired person so unique. My project was initiated by a widely printed rumor that redheads are going extinct. While the rumor proved to be false, I continued documenting my red-haired subjects to celebrate and explore their individuality.As only 1% of the entire human population, our distinctive coloring is a defining feature from day one. We are used to being one in a crowd and regularly noted for our appearance. Experiencing life in this way from infancy through adulthood influences who we are. As a natural redhead, I know our hair color affects more than just how we look.

Throughout the series, while the red hair gene is constant, each coloration and personality exemplifies a unique manifestation. In A Rare Breed, I take advantage of the radiant light of my daylight studio to examine the outward appearance and inner character my subjects present. Depicting individuals in front of a simple white background, I allow the viewer to examine the nuance of each shade of red in an intimate series of photographs.

More of Julia’s work can be found at www.juliabaum.com

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