PRESS

Press Release for The Exhibition Lab Exhibition at Foley Gallery, 2017
Foley Gallery is pleased to present “the Exhibition Lab Exhibition”, a group show featuring work by Eva Fazzari, Susan Evans Grove, Amy Montali, Francis Minien, Alex Nelson, David Bernstein, Miles Kerr and Aleya Lehmann Bench.
The Exhibition Lab is a study of photography outside of a traditional academic setting. The initiative was co-founded by Michael Foley in 2010 as a study center for fine art photography dedicated to learning by critique. Students of the Ex Lab meet over the course of 5 months, holding critique sessions with one another and one-on-one sessions with Foley. Guest Faculty included Elinor Carucci, Martine Fougeron and Andrew Moore.
David Bernstein’s images of homes in his adoptive-state of Ohio allow the viewer to experience this landscape as he does; both familiar and foreign. While Bernstein has lived in the Midwest for nearly two-decades, he still feels like a visitor. David’s photographs depict the emotional distance he feels and allows him to embrace his Romantic search for home.
Amy Montali aims to capture liminal spaces between the ordinary and the heroic. Montali’s work reflects a sustained period of uncertainty – each subject seems both nowhere and anywhere. The proverbial question looms: what now? Using visual and psychological elements in scenarios Montali invents for the camera in real time, she considers her work to be “momentary performances” that are neither portraits nor documents. For each viewer, a new story unfolds.
In contrast to Montali’s “invented” scenes, Eva Fazzari’s series “From Ashes” documents burnt homes and the people displaced in the aftermath of domestic fires. Fazzari’s images embody stillness and allow for somber reflection.  In one of Fazzari’s portraits, a man and his dog gaze outside a window, the bright sunlight symbolizing hope: a year prior they narrowly escaped a fast moving fire.  From Ashes is a story of rebirth, of people uniting and reestablishing a sense of home.
Miles Kerr produces dream-like images that explore consciousness. His series “Sleep Paralysis” represents a private, subjective and internal reality. Kerr’s work visualizes the mysterious compulsions of our bodies and the way our actuality is created within the brain. By using a fragmented narrative structure, he portrays the state that exists between dreaming and wakefulness wherein a person is unable to speak or to move but can experience the waking world.
Francis Minien is focused on objects we actually see every day – things we pay no attention to. Minien photographs
everyday items –curtains, walls and vases. These items pass through our acknowledging eyes to our subconscious
and are recorded as uneventful, so our attention moves on.  Minien believes if you stop your eyes for a moment, and adjust your focus, you may see the color, the light, and the symmetry that makes the everyday beautiful.
Susan Evans Grove seeks to find the magical in the mundane. Her series “On the Hard” is named after the phrase for a boat out of the water in dry dock, either for repair or winter storage. This is not a natural state for a boat. It is often not the best of times for the boat or its’ Captain. Frailties are exposed but the damage itself is quite beautiful; just as with humankind. Grove records the surfaces of these vessels, revealing the storms these boats have transversed. Like cave paintings etched in their hulls, these images pay tribute to the power of the sea and remind us we are not in control of nature.
For the past seven years Alex Nelson’s central subject has been her family in the wake of her parents’ divorce. In her series “From Here on Out”, Nelson explores how the divorce has shifted her family members’ established roles and interpersonal dynamics. Through both spontaneous and crafted imagery, she records how the dissolution of her nuclear family has affected her parents, brothers and herself
over time. At once personally empathic and formally reflective, the photographs intimate tensions to unearth connections.

Aleya Lehmann Bench is a painter turned photographer, and she continues to create art in a similar way. Bench determines form, color, and composition before she begins. In her series “a very costly masque prepared but not shown”, she references contemporaneous descriptions of sixteenth-century theatrical elements. Bench creates a simple stage that includes a set, props, and costumes. With her camera set to a long exposure, she captures the movement of the figure—pulling the light, color, and form across the picture plane—thereby creating an illusion of motion and, at the same time, one of reverie.

“The Exhibition Lab Exhibition” will remain on view through August 12th, 2017. Foley Gallery is open Wednesday through Saturday, 11 – 6pm, Sunday 12:00 – 6pm. We will be closed Sundays in July. To request images; please contact the gallery at 212.244.9081 or info@foleygallery.com.

For more information on the Ex Lab, please visit theexhibitionlab.org.


Editor’s Choice: Juror’s Statement by Chris McGonigal, Photo Editor of the Huffington Post for CENTER Choice Awards, 2016

It’s not easy going one-by-one through beautiful images and being the one to make the hard choices on who has to go and who has to get left behind, but we all know in editing you have to make those hard decisions. It was such a pleasure to go through these entries. I based my decisions on those submissions on which I would think to myself “This would be really great for our site.” These images offer a view of something different, compelling and a series that just make us want to see more from their creator.

The first place prize goes to Eva Fazzari’s images of a rescue dog group traveling the country uniting dogs with new owners. It is a really special piece and once I saw it, I knew it would end up at the top of the list. It’s one thing to document a journey, it’s another to document a life changing experience for an animal and a human. Both of these situations combined make this a wonderful winner.

In second place is Melissa Kaseman’s adorable series where she photographs the objects left over from her son’s pockets after a day at preschool. Without even seeing a photo of her son Calder, we can already get an image of this child in our minds. This project has such an innocence to it and is quite playful in its execution, I couldn’t help but include it in our winners.

Third, but not at all least, are Eric Kayne’s striking photos that show the people and landscapes in the path of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline. The pipeline was definitely a divisive issue and Eric’s photos are able to show us in perfectly framed images that there is beauty in these places that is at risk of being changed.

Thanks to CENTER for the opportunity and trusting me to judge all of these submissions.


Saddle Brook Photographer Portrays Pet Rescue Daily Voice on 5/25/2016 by Cecilia Levine

SADDLE BROOK, N.J. — The red line on the pavement behind a veterinary clinic in Connecticut was an enormous hurdle that Wally wasn’t quite sure he was ready to face.

That line and a mere three feet separated the golden retriever, tail tucked between his legs, from his new adoptive family.

Steve Quilliam, the Grateful Doggies transporter who helped rescue Wally, eventually coaxed the pup over that line, guiding him across that parking lot and toward the smiling strangers.

That Wally ultimately wound up in his new family’s arms was the culmination of a long rescue process.

But for Quilliam, the long hours of travel, being away from home and having to give up dogs to which he has become attached are worth it. He has participated in another successful rescue and that’s all that matters.

Saddle Brook photographer Eva Fazzari, 30, set out to capture it all in her photography series, “Freeway Project ” — which earned her the Editor’s Choice Award from CENTER in Santa Fe.

Fazzari’s photographs chronicle the three-day, 3,000-mile journey of Grateful Doggies Freedom Transport Company between Alabama and Maine on which gas stations, welcome centers and vacant parking lots have yielded many a reluctant goodbye and happy hello.

“What’s interesting is that the locations we were making stops at were not inviting locations,” said Fazzari, a Dumont native. “They were all places of transit where you don’t expect to have an emotional involvement — places that provide no comfort. Emotions playing out in strange places intrigued me.”

Fazzari first became involved with Grateful Doggies in March 2014 when she brought a car full of Quilliam’s rescues to a local rescue.

She’d been taking photographs for local rescues but — after seeing the reality of rescue and transport — Fazzari was eager to take her passion for pets and pictures one step further.

She was influenced by photographer Amy Stein, who’s “Domesticated” series recreates interactions between man and animal. Fazzari then accompanied Quilliam on a May 2014 transport to capture the moments that animals met their new owners.

“We wanted to keep it as positive as possible,” Fazzari said. “I wanted to show the emotional exchanges between people and animals, and the effort of people that it takes to make rescue work.”

Fazzari has been on 15 transports up and down the east coast and has no plans to stop. The Freeway Project will be a photobook for purchase and likely a gallery exhibition upon completion, according to Fazzari, who added the project has also become personal.

“This is the first time I’ve been able to combine my passion for animals with my love of photography,” she said. “Right now, it feels like everything is starting to come together and make a lot of sense for me.”


Press Release: PAUSE at Foley Gallery Notes by Allen Frame, 2013

Six photographers, presented by Foley Gallery, stalk the space of nowhere, anywhere, and somewhere and arrive “here” in the eerie calm of Pause, their exhibition of photographs depicting lives and landscapes on hold, barren, bleak, forgotten, anonymous, abandoned, and random. Their views of the world are rooted in memory and marked by transience. They are travelers poking into voids, looking at emptiness, examining the anxiety of unresolved questions. The artists are melancholic progeny, gazing at the family tree after it’s been chopped down, and unfolding maps to forgotten places.

EVA FAZZARI returns to New Jersey landscapes and finds post-storm ruins and abandoned houses overtaken by nature, amid undisturbed domestic scenes of uncanny quietude. Her stark reality is stalled between chaos and niceties of middle-class taste.

PETER RIESETT mines familial settings, but chooses households left behind by grandparents now deceased. Evocative traces of their lives and the fragile, still beauty of their abandoned objects create a sense of both serenity and absurdity.

While most of the photographers depict unpeopled environments and passing landscapes, RACHEL LANGOSCH deals mostly with the female figure, finding (and staging) private moments in the situations of daily life. A woman lies face down in jogging clothes in a carpeted office setting. Has she just been jogging, or is she succumbing to some corporate pressure? The ambiguity is unsettling.

AUSTIN NELSON, making pictures “on the road” mixes portraits with quirky scenes of buildings and landscapes. A Southern mansion in disrepair is just a glancing view on his rambling trip; an old storefront doorway draped with an American flag feels eccentric, if forgotten. Both his places and people are sleepy, on Southern time with no agenda. A friend standing in a field in Texas looks as if he just woke up, probably with a hangover. A car parked outside a nondescript building looks forsaken.

The two Taiwanese photographers in the show, I-HSUEN CHEN and LIANG-PIN TSAO complement each other, both doing road trips but with radically different visions.

CHEN, under the spell of the classic road-trip photographers Robert Frank, Stephen Shore, and Joel Sternfeld, idylls through Taiwan, but instead of finding the drama of Frank’s diverse demographics, or the wonder of Sternfeld’s American anecdotes, he discovers a society in a state of suspension. Time seems to have stopped for this island culture, and Chen focuses on the inadvertent poise of routine and the everyday. A group of people stand at the edge of the sea, gazing off. Another group sits in a bus station, killing time. A man in shorts bends over a guardrail on a road, looking for something in the brush, but what?

TSAO, on the other hand, journeys through the U.S., zigzagging from state to state, but he observes less than he emotes: a primal scream or an utterance of puzzlement. His scenes, relentlessly captured, are generic and anonymous. Patches of landscape glimpsed at night are like mirages seen by someone in a fugue. His vagueness is as disturbing as LANGOSCH’s ambiguity or FAZZARI’s piercing precision.