STUDIO VISIT: JOSHUA CITARELLA
I recently had the pleasure of visiting photographer/curator Joshua Citarella at his studio in Greenpoint. Along with Kate Steciw and others, Josh is one of a growing list of photo-concerned artists whose work incorporates techniques and attitudes adopted from their day jobs as professional re-touchers. For these artists, the hyperreal precision of digitally-finessed commercial photography serves as a vehicle for exploring the roles of representation, manipulation, and intention in contemporary image-making.
Josh’s work reflects an ongoing interest in blurring the lines between digital effect and manual intervention. As he combines and willfully confuses various means of visual production, he challenges the expectations of his viewers (as well as many of his fellow photographers) by reminding us that while digital processes have indeed expanded the image-maker’s vocabulary, purposeful manipulation has always been present in photography – and that rather than threaten the medium, this malleability remains one of its greatest sources of vitality.
Citarella’s most recent series, Combination Game, finds the artist constructing elaborate in-studio sets that situate traditional still-life objects (fruit, bottles, the anonymously nude female form) among strategically arranged frames, reflective surfaces, backdrops, and other elements. Once captured, the images are uploaded, altered in post, and in response to those alterations, often re-shot. As this process plays out, the work becomes increasingly disorienting, a succession of colorful landscapes whose intersecting planes and ambiguous origins undermine the viewer’s sense of visual perspective – and challenge any lingering presumption of “believability” in the photographic image.
You can view more of Josh’s work HERE, check out his excellent .PSD Show project HERE, and look for his work in upcoming shows in London and NYC.
Below are a few photos from my visit.