March 13-April 5, 2008
Richard Edson's toy figures are meticulously shot at an intensely close range under very specialized lighting conditions to emphasize their shape, color, "toyness" and their relationship to a monochromatic or multi-chromatic background. Since the figures are so small and shot with a macro lens (with an elaborate series of tube expanders) the focal plane is extremely narrow, allowing only a tight area where part of the figure is in focus. This creates an odd and not unpleasant sense of space, displacement and fission. The effect brings the tiny objects into a larger than life existence, where dynamic worlds are elicited full of what the artist calls "dreams, visions, or solutions to problems not yet even imagined."
Looking at these simple figures as photographed through the macro lens one is impressed by the their depth and humanity, and the more one looks the greater the illusion becomes. What were once crude postures and expressions "factory carved" in plastic are now repositories of secret emotion and (often humorous) feelings that surprise us with their mournful outstretched arms, plaintive gazes and sometimes fierce aggression. The contrast between the cartoon-like quality of the figurines and the seriousness of their respective "dramas" has to make one smile a little, and in this way the artist brings a welcome comic relief to the timeless human narratives he captures in these 'micro-iconic' images.
Richard Edson on the title of the exhibit:
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