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Christian Chaize, Praia Piquinia

Jen Bekman Gallery
6 Spring Street, between Elizabeth St. and Bowery, 212-219-0166
East Village / Lower East Side
May 20 - July 11, 2009
Reception: Wednesday, May 20, 6 - 8 PM
Web Site

Jen Bekman Gallery is pleased to present Praia Piquinia, a solo exhibition of nine color photographs by Christian Chaize. Praia Piquinia is the Lyon-based artist’s first exhibition in the United States.

For the last five years, Christian Chaize has faithfully returned to the same beach in Portugal, taking photographs from approximately the same elevated angle to create the images in his series Praia Piquinia. Vertically oriented — a departure from the horizontal format traditional to landscape photography — the photographs become, through their repetition, intimate portraits of a place. A counterpoint to seascape greats Massimo Vitali and Richard Misrach, Chaize’s images expose the subtle nuances of this particular beach and playfully render the passage of time through otherwise un-photographed (and therefore unobserved) changes in light, tides, the weather and the beachgoers’ configurations. The photographs become, as Jen Bekman, the gallery’s founder notes, “less about humanity and more about being human.” Jen continues:

The changes — subtle or obvious, natural or man-made — become revealed by the documented passage of time and are central to the work. Seen at different days and hours, the simple charm of the vista evolves into something richer; each detail, unique to each moment, is evidence of the transience of time and the tides, and creates a framework for human narrative both real and imagined. As each element is examined and identified, the daydream becomes clearer, and the feeling of being there that much closer.

Christian Chaize is a self-taught French artist. In 1992, he was awarded the Prix European Panorama de Kodak for Young European Photographer in Arles, France. His work has been exhibited throughout Europe, including shows at the Institut Franco-Portugais de Lisbonne and Centro de Artes de Sines.
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