Closer Than They Appear
April 24 - May 23, 2010
Opening Reception, Saturday, April 24, 6 to 9 pm

View Opening Photos


Krowswork Gallery is pleased to present Closer Than They Appear featuring video by William Eggleston, a video installation by Sade Huron, and photography by Ryan C. Smith. Each of these artists achieves a startling, unsuspected intimacy through their formally conceived, yet never unnatural, images of the everyday. Unspoken but thoroughly integrated into this intimacy is a consideration of place and placelessness, and of the lonely poignancy which often accompanies any careful, deliberate looking at that which is closest to you.

Pioneering photographer William Eggleston made history in 1976 with the first exhibition of color photography at The Museum of Modern Art in New York. This show proved to be a watershed for the art world, which up till then had not recognized the artistic merit of color photography, nor had it appreciated the ability of art to be manifest in the photographic depictions of everyday people and places. A few years before that show, though, in 1973, Eggleston had been one of the first experimenters with the cutting-edge Sony PortaPak, the first portable video camera. Eggleston shot the black and white video in the same way he used his still camera: in real life situations to observe and document the specific qualities of those around him. The result is Stranded in Canton, which will be continually on view at Krowswork, a 77-minute edit of over thirty hours of footage that chronicles the unique underbelly of the strange world of privilege and deprivation in the Mississippi Delta in the 1970s. Like any Eggleston photograph, his video presents the same unflinching gaze--piercing yet never judging, intrusive but somehow completely freeing to those whose lives he is recording.
William Eggleston
Video still from Stranded in Canton by William Eggleston
(c) Eggleston Artistic Trust
Sade Huron
Video still from Marked by Sade Huron
Sade Huron is a Welsh-born video and performance artist who has made the Bay Area her home since 1998. In her installation, Marked, at Krowswork she presents a video shot while driving on a highway, interspersed with footage that explores the process of remembering and searches personal memoir. The installation is activated by people in the space and rewards them for staying, slowing down, and watching and listening to the memories that we otherwise speed by everyday. In this installation she presents a literal road by which she has traveled to an understanding of her own life and artwork--where the breakdown and deinterlacing of the video footage correspond directly to the breakdown, and opening up, of memory.

Photography at its core is a transparent medium. When Ryan C. Smith takes portraits of people and places familiar to him, a transference takes place and the viewer becomes privy to a private dialogue that gets to the heart and breadth of the relationship of the photographer to his subject--all captured in a single, salient moment. Smith's photographs mostly picture friends, lovers, and relations from the Bay Area and his native Nebraska, and effortlessly integrate his evident devotion to them with a precise and observant distance from them. Shooting primarily using Polaroid cameras, whose images he then scans and enlarges, Smith displays a vision that is refreshingly honest, profoundly insightful, and beautifully manifested.

Ryan SmithAnn with Both Eyes Covered by Ryan C. Smith