New York Photo Review
NYPR Archives - 2010

Reviewer #1
Martin Parr

The physical medium of photography has morphed in recent years, going well beyond the metallic salts or pigments on metal, paper or glass that have defined the medium over the years. Photographs can now be seen on substrates as diverse as birthday cake icing and the sides of city buses. Janet Borden in her genial summer show "Stuff" presents a wide range of these new photographic media (although no buses) to present some of the most well-regarded 'art' photographers in new lights.

Perhaps the smallest jump from the gallery world to shall we say the gift shop world is with Martin Parr. Here is a black enamaled round serving tray emblazoned with Parr's photograph of an elegantly manicured hand with red nails holding a reddish drink containing a large number of red maraschino cherries. The effect is actually rather refined, and after seeing this, why would you settle for a flat print on paper? What about Chuck Close? Here is a bottle of wine from Bedell Winery with what is essentially an ink-jet print of a Chuck Close daguerrotype. Just a reproduction you say, but then isn't that the same image that one Chelsea gallery is currently offering as an ink-jet print at a price considerably higher than the $75 that the winery is charging? Plus you can drink the wine.

Moving to the more expensive side of the gift shop, and perhaps to the standout of the exhibition, is a large shaggy rug, maybe 6 ft x 6 ft produced from a Tina Barney classic "Jill and Polly in the Bathroom" from 1987. The medium and image merge as the fibers of the rug become one with the cotton bathrobes and towels of the scene. Barney's images always have a slight edge of irony, and are perhaps a bit cold and clinical, but in this new medium they are now undeniably warm and fuzzy.

The most substantive piece in the show was also one of the smallest, cookies frosted with the image "Riding Bareback into the Rococo" by Robert Cumming. Such a multi-modal piece demands a multimedia, evaluation so the rest of this review is presented as video below:

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Janet Borden
560 Broadway 6th Fl
Lower Manhattan - West         Map

212 431 0166

Wednesday, July 7 to
Friday, July 30, 2010
Hours: Tues - Sat, 10 to 6