Photographed entirely in the ethereal lakeside environs of the Adirondacks, Lynda Churilla’s latest exhibition synthesizes the aesthetics of strength and softness. Central to this aesthetic theme is the portrayal of Churilla’s husband and muse John, who she describes as a source of inspiration. Standing nude and silhouetted in the foreground, the powerful form of John’s body is rendered stoic and subdued by multiple mist‐wreathed aquatic expanses and looming woodland scenes.
Whether standing in a state of intent tranquility in the foreground of a forest, or captured mid‐action during diving or archery, John imparts a sense of security through his physique and determined mien. Also conveyed is an air of intrigue stemming from his body, which is often concealed by shadow or wreathed in haze. Examples of masterful composition, Churilla’s black‐and‐white images fully demonstrate the pacifying effect of nature on the male figure.
The invitational piece, Silence represents Churilla’s overall vision for this exhibition, featuring John facing away from the camera while standing in the shallows in a mist covered lake. Staring into the distance with his body in graceful repose, he appears lost in and enveloped by his surroundings, eliciting the romantic feeling of limitlessness and a sense of peace. The style in which Churilla captures John is reminiscent of the figurative nudes produced by photographers like Jock Sturges or Sally Mann.
This exhibition is composed of eleven large-format pieces which range from 30” x 40” to 60” x 40”. Eight photographs centered on John are accompanied by three abstract landscape pieces that capture the Adirondacks in all its otherworldly beauty. In one of these, White Mist, one stumbles into a world of beautifully muted color tones, in which a nearly impenetrable mist surrounds a lake. This photograph serves to highlight stillness of water, which Churilla herself regards as healing and thought inducing.
Churilla first gained her appreciation of the Adirondacks while working as an assistant to the legendary photographer Bruce Weber in his 1990 series Bear Pond. Since studying as Weber’s protégé for nearly a decade, Churilla’s own work has been acclaimed by such publications as American Photo and Harper’s Bazaar, in which she has been lauded as a promising female photographer.
She has photographed numerous celebrities, such as Cameron Diaz, Jewel, Olivier Martinez, Coldplay, Pet Shop Boys, and Josh Brolin. Her photography has appeared in GQ, Rolling Stone, Men’s Health and Interview magazine, and her corporate clients include Ralph Lauren, Nike, Coca-Cola, and Sony. She lives in New York City. Images can be viewed at www.robinricegallery.com