June 28 to July 28, 2013
Reception: Saturday, June 29, 2013 6-8 pm
also Dine/Art BeLo3rd
Tamara Staples, “The Magnificent Chicken”
Blue Cochin Bantam Pullet by Tamara Staples
Rebecca Doughty, “Ink”
Ink on paper drawings
Inky 14 by Rebecca Doughty
portfolio showcase photographers tba
Tamara Staples, The Magnificent Chicken
Tamara Staples celebrates the champions of the chicken world at their best. Blending her two photographic passions: portraiture and still life, she styles each image, elevating her subjects in status through light and backgrounds of lush fabrics and papers in the manner that the Dutch used such materials to denote a certain dignity, wealth and prestige in society.
Her love for the birds began during visits with her favorite uncle, Ron, who lived in Athens, Ga., and was a chicken breeder. He invited her to her first poultry show twenty years ago. After four years of photographing champions throughout the Midwest, Staples published “The Fairest Fowl: Portraits of Championship Chickens (Chronicle Books 2001.) Her second book, shot mostly around Upstate New York, Massachusetts, and New Jersey, “The Magnificent Chicken: Portraits of the Fairest Fowl,” (Chronicle Books) has just been published, and includes an introduction by Ira Glass. (above: Silver Duckwing Modern Game Large Fowl Hen by Tamara Staples)
bio Tamara Staples began her career as a stylist for print and television commercials Her fine art photography background soon put her behind the camera. As a commercial and editorial photographer, her work has appeared in Harper’s Magazine, Time Out NY, New York Times, Men’s Journal, O Magazine, New York Magazine and Town and Country to name a few. In 2001, Staples published her first photography book of personal work, The Fairest Fowl, Portraits of Championship Chickens. Her second book of chicken portraits, The Magnificent Chicken, was published in 2013 by Chronicle Books. Staples is the recipient of a NYFA Grant and a PDN self-promotion award. Recently, her work inspired a play that ran off-Broadway, entitled Still Life. Staples lives and works in New York City.
About the birds: While today we equate chicken with food, there is an existing culture that aims to perfect these birds through breeding based on a book entitled, The Standard of Perfection, first published in 1874. At poultry shows all over the world, known as The Fancy, chickens of all shapes, colors and sizes await their judgment. Each breeder spends years creating a work of art, where genetics is key. And each bird IS a work of art, from the amount of toes on each foot to the wingspan, from the color to the weight. These birds are bred solely for show and live luxuriously into old age.
Rebecca Doughty “Ink”
Rebecca Doughty’s work is distinctive for its comic and tragic animal figures. In these new drawings she departs from her narrative line-based work, and brings her character companions to life in graphic ink silhouettes. The animals appear as anonymous and shadowy, and at the same time their edges carefully articulate the peculiarities of each individual.
In one group, Inkies, hybrid animal figures exist in white space, appearing either to act or be acted upon, as they tumble, contort, are pushed, pulled, or struggle to move forward. Her Profile drawings are oddly reminiscent of 19th century silhouette portraits, honoring and poking fun at traditions of portraiture. Decorative picture frames add to the formality, but the artist paints them uniformly white, giving a ghostly sense of disappearing tradition. (above: Profile 9 by Rebecca Doughty)
bio: Rebecca Doughty’s drawings and paintings have been exhibited in many places since the 1980’s, including The Drawing Center in NYC, The Boston Drawing Project, DeCordova Museum, Rose Art Museum, and The Schoolhouse Gallery in Provincetown. She has received fellowships and awards from the Ucross Foundation, The Ballinglen Arts Foundation, The Massachusetts Cultural Council, and a Best Show Award from the International Association of Art Critics (AICA) Boston. Her work is in the permanent collections of the Provincetown Art Association and Museum, DeCordova Museum, Simmons College, and private collections in the US, UK, Mexico and Japan. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts with her husband, poet Edison Dupree.