curated by Jörg M. Colberg
Michael Mazzeo Gallery is pleased to present Bare, a group exhibition of photography, curated by Jörg M. Colberg, founder and author of the influential weblog, Concientious. The participating artists include, Rachael Dunville, Amy Elkins, Ethan Aaro Jones, Richard Learoyd, Jennifer Loeber, Hellen van Meene, Josh Quigley, Richard Renaldi, Jessica Roberts, Alec Soth, Shen Wei and Carmen Winant.
Emerging from a long history of figurative representation, the images that make up Bare represent various perspectives on the human form, and the relationships that are defined by physical experience. Reflecting a contemporary liberation from deeply rooted and oppressive conventions, particularly the issues of the male gaze and the imposition of sexuality onto an objectified body, these photographs reveal emotional and psychological intimacies that allow the subjects to be represented as independent beings.
The photographers included in Bare actively counter the images of exclusively sexual and idealized bodies, exploited by the unwitting alliance of conservative groups and the advertising industry, which despite their divergent goals, function in the same way to impose an unattainable beauty standard, and the equation of nudity = sex.
This infiltration into one’s most intimate and vulnerable space, is gradually undone by the relief of photographic representations of genuine physical beauty that can only be the result of a genuine self-possession of the body.
Empowered in their sense of self, the subjects of Bare engage in revealing moments of vulnerability and uncertainty, and express the seducing subtleties of the photographer/subject relationship. Whether quiet and reflective, caught in moments of awkward consciousness, or boldly available to the viewer, the subjects participate in the photographers common practice of sincere and uncontrived representation.