Your Nearest Exit May Be Behind You
January 14 – February 22, 2015
The Robin Rice Gallery is pleased to present a photographic
exhibition by Micheal McLaughlin. The opening
reception will be held on Wednesday, January 14th, from 5:30 to
8:30 pm. The show will run through February 22nd, 2015.
Your Nearest Exit May Be Behind
You, a reference to the traditional pre-flight instructions
of airline hostesses, is fine art photographer Micheal
McLaughlin's collection of the sights found universally in the act of
travelling between countries and continents. From dark Hong Kong skylines shot
through hotel room windows to the familiar, scratched silver buttons of a New
York subway elevator, the resulting images are what McLaughlin describes as
being "as much of a peripheral view as they are a direct view of the world."
minimalistic and boldly colorful images are highlighted by their size, which
demonstrates a level of detail often missed by an initial glance. Some rectangular,
some square, the images are each displayed in large-scale frames. A world
traveler by profession, McLaughlin's new series of images is
reminiscent of Ed Ruscha, Richard Diebenkorn,
or Wayne Thiebaud, whom the artist cites as some of
his many artistic inspirations.
The invitational image, entitled "Jorf
Lasfar, Morocco", centers on a brightly-colored
gas station, McLaughlin's pit stop on the way to the nearby city of Casablanca.
Shot miles away from civilization, the small gas station is surrounded only by
a vast sky of pink and blue sunset. The soft light of the sky juxtaposed
against the artificial lights of the gas station gives a surreal effect to the otherwise commonplace
subject. The painterly reflection of the lighting on the glistening concrete,
meanwhile, contrasts drastically against the geometric, plastic structure of
the gas station.
Across the ocean lies the inspiration for "Marshalltown, Iowa". The
endless, grey-purple landscape of a barren cornfield peeks through a thick fog
of winter. The cornfield stretches infinitely into the horizon, with only the
vague trace of manicured rows of corn visible through the white frost on the
ground. The muted grey sky above warns of an incoming storm, which McLaughlin
was waiting to pass in his car at the time the image was captured. Shot through
the car window, the soft, minimalistic image is a mysterious, other-worldly take on the farmlands of Middle America.
A third-generation Brooklynite, Micheal McLaughlin's interest in photography
began at the tender age of 11. He attended the Nova Scotia College of Art &
Design (BFA, 1983), and now works as a
New York-based advertising and editorial location photographer. Among others,
his clients include IBM, Apple, and American Express. McLaughlin has received
honors from Photo District News, Communication Arts, and the NY Art Directors
Club. McLaughlin lists a wide array of artistic influences, from fellow
photographers (Robert Frank, Harry Callahan, Diane Arbus)
to the writings of authors such as William Faulkner, Graham Greene, and Eudora
Welty. This is McLaughlin's fifth solo exhibition at the Robin Rice Gallery.