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Bill Phelps

March 5 – April 20, 2008
Opening reception Wednesday March 5th 5:30 - 8:30

The Robin Rice Gallery announces a solo exhibition of photography by Bill Phelps. The opening reception will be held on Wednesday March 5th, from 5:30pm. to 8:30pm. The show will run through April 20, 2008.

Bill Phelps eliminates all the props, save his model, and plunges into the ocean, literally and symbolically in the fourteen, black and white limited edition archival prints featured in his second solo exhibition with the Robin Rice Gallery. Using a tight close-up as his point of view, Phelps submerges your senses into the sparkling surf, where occasionally a naked body lurks suggestively, playing in and out of your sight.

Phelps calls his latest photographic series a ”real departure” from his more staged 8” x 10” large format work, yet the intimate study of waves is clearly stamped with his distinct aesthetic. Drawing inspiration from the environment, he says, “I like dangerous beauty. The water,” he continues, “has a living, animal quality, and the figure seems more creature than human.”

The framed photographs, hung across the white gallery walls, look like a sequence of film or theatrical stills. Phelps’ list of inspirational artists includes filmmaker Wim Wenders (Wings of Desire, Land of Plenty), painter Mark Rothko, multi-media artist Man Ray and Homer. Phelps interest in film, theater, painting, and poetry is evident in his ability to create photographs that excite your sense of mystery. From image to image, we’re tossed in the waves, sea spray and dazzling light, with each moment offering you a different interpretation of the experience.

The ridge of one wave, for example, suggests the spine of a mythic beast, or an ocean haunted by creatures long gone. You may see fragile grace in the round droplet of foam suspended above a watery peak. Or spirituality in the beauty of an arcing body that seems to be “born of the water”.

Phelps describes his latest series as a charter study of the ocean. But you may find yourself most aroused by your own strong reaction to these simple, yet, moving shots, as Phelps’ cinematic eye takes you dancing in the waves.

A self-taught photographer, Phelps has won numerous awards for his photography, including the World Press Grand Prize for Portraits, and his clients include: Italian Vogue, The New York Times, Harley Davidson, Sony and others. A world traveler, he’s lived in Madrid, Sydney and Paris, and now calls Brooklyn home.

For more information, or printable images please contact Robin Rice at (212) 366-6660 or email info@robinricegallery.com and www.robinricegallery.com.