New York Photo Review
from the NYPR Archives

Making Caribbean Dance by Susanna Sloat
The Genetic Wars by Barbara Confino
Soho Photo Gallery
Central Booking Magazine

Animal Stories
Colleen Plumb
The Animals are Outside Today
 by Colleen Plumb.
Colleen Plumb, Dead Racoon

The mystery and wildness of animals has frequently appealed to photographers: Pentti Sammallahti and Joseph Koudelka come quickly to mind. Colleen Plumbs’s work at the Jen Bekman gallery has a more whimsical take on the subject, perhaps one more suitable to the colorful, pastel palette she chooses. While her preference for large color prints places her squarely in the contemporary manner, her preference for soft baby blues and rosy tones sweetens the brew.

From the gigantic Trojan Horse of an elephant to the tiny lab mouse in its glass coffin, animals and their facsimiles find ways to insinuate themselves into her view. With its ferocious teeth facing us, the dead raccoon on the beach is the strongest image in the bunch, the one with the most menace. But her depressed circus elephant has the most pathos.

 by unidentified photographer.
Collen Plumb, Circus Elephant

Although she does not succeed in giving us a deep glimpse into the essential otherness of the animal world, nor that wild gorgeousness so easy to admire in the best work of National Geographic photographers, there is a lightness, almost a feyness to her style. This is not to demean it, only to pinpoint a delicacy of touch with its own satisfactions– for her animals exist in an unexpected space of their own.

Because of it, Plumb’s work possesses a quality rare in contemporary photography: charm. It is a charm neither cloying nor Hallmarkian; rather one that celebrates a little bit of oddness in an otherwise ordinary world.

Colleen Plumb
The Animals are Outside Today


Jen Bekman Gallery
6 Spring St.
Lower Manhattan - East         Map

212 219 0166
jenbekman.com

Saturday, March 12 to
Sunday, April 24, 2011
Hours: Wed to Sat, 12 to 6
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The Genetic Wars by Barbara Confino
Making Caribbean Dance by Susanna Sloat
Central Booking Magazine
Soho Photo Gallery