Brian Pearson's search of quiet moments within the ever-increasing calamity of the modern world drives this new series of images. The medley of black and white images is split between the figurative and the architectural. The raw, candid quality in his imagery inspires a different sense of place and time in each photograph, creating a collection that demands the individual attention of the viewer with each melodic piece.
In the invitational image, Falling, a shirtless man falls from a steep cliff above a dark, watery abyss within a dense forest. His limbs are relaxed as his torso twists away from the viewer, a curiously assured leap despite the unknowns of the rocky surface below. Because of the high-contrast nature of the black and white image, the man's body becomes one of the only sources of light, literally highlighting this moment of airborne suspension. Pearson's raw, intimate portraits are reminiscent of Bruce Weber, whom Pearson lists as an early inspiration for his innovative, at times controversial work during the Reagan Era.
Another black and white image, Roman in Tub, centers on the exhausted figure of a man collapsed in a dark, outdoor tub, surrounded only by an endless field of wildflowers. Shot in upstate New York after a long summer's day of chopping firewood, the man's bare arms extend along the rim of the tub, his hands resting inches from pebbles on the ground beneath him. His downward gaze casts a shadow over the water on his shoulders, which glisten brightly from the summer sun. Lost in his world within the tub, Roman's portrait captures Pearson's affinity for the freedom and carelessness of a solitary man.
Pearson's enigmatic series of architectural images remind the viewer of the sparse geometry of Donald Judd's work, while retaining the romantic, organic components found in hisÊfigurative photographs. Atlantic City Parking Lot shows the top floor of an outdoor, hi-rise parking building facing metropolitan Atlantic City. A large slab of grey concrete splits the length of the photograph, converting the image into simple, geometric blocks. This repetition of geometric forms can be found in another architectural image, Chicago Skyscraper, a close-up, detailed view of the Aqua residential tower. The image contrasts crisp, curving lines of grey against dark, velvety blacks. The building's waved structure reminds the viewer of the curves of a body or the waves of water, two subjects that permeate Pearson's exhibition.
Brian Pearson is a fine art photographer, with awards from Photo District News, the Lucie Award for Fine Art, and nominations for the Black and White Spider Awards. A graduate of Emerson College, Pearson has spent the last 20 years working as a traveling artist, splitting his time between shooting photography and writing. A former resident of southwestern Colorado, Pearson lists Richard Avedon's "In the American West" as an inspiration for his own work, alongside photographers Joel Meyerowitz, the New Topographics, and Jonathan Williams, writer of "A Palpable Elysium Portraits of Genius and Solitude". Pearson currently resides in Cape Cod, MA. This is his first solo exhibition at the Robin Rice Gallery.
To view the images exhibited, visit robinricegallery.com. For more information please contact Robin Rice at (212) 366-6660.