Things are obscured and there is an impending sense of danger in the recent digital c-prints by Steve Giovinco to be featured in his first solo exhibition at Jim Kempner Fine Art From April 7 through May 19. Comprised mostly of emotionally charged landscapes taken while traveling in Rome, Palermo, various places in Pennsylvania and west Texas, the show will also include work from the artist’s ongoing series of diaristic self-portraits.
Drawing influences from European filmmakers (Antonioni, Bresson, Fassbinder) and 19th century landscape paintings, the nine medium- to large-scale images in the show create a loosely woven narrative infused with the drama of the everyday: two lone headlights emerge from darkness on a remote mountain road; a single pail is mysteriously situated in the middle of a desolate forest trail; wild cats hunt in a vacant, garbage-strewn lot; a woman reading on a sofa, her feet buried under a pillow, is unaware of a passing figure in the background, shrouded by light.
Taken with a digital camera, Giovinco’s intuitively composed images are made with natural light. The digital camera and process are not only crucial to the way in which these images are made, but are important to their meaning. Viewing images through the camera’s small screen, rather than its viewfinder, has more in common with film than the segmented approach of traditional photography. This subtle but fundamental shift seems to emphasize the narrative aspect of Giovinco’s work. Later, the image is reworked, sometimes making dozens of minor color corrections. Mediated through technology, the resulting images form a series that moves fluidly between intentional narrative and the chance documentation of happenstance. It is the conscious construction of an intuitive story – each shot is based on spontaneity and immediate feeling, but the process allows for the intersection of an enigmatic present.