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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org