A Fine Art Photography Gallery in Asheville, North Carolina
A closer look at another one of Gerald Slota’s bodies of work included in our current exhibition, Story, A Retrospective from Gerald Slota, on view through June 1st!
One of the series included in this retrospective of works from Gerald Slota is called Urbania. A bit more about Urbania, written by Chuck Mobley, Director, San Francisco Camera Work:
“Slota’s Urbania series is an exploration of Paterson, New Jersey where he has lived and worked for more than 15 years. Inspired by the city’s rich historical (and photographic) legacy, Slota decided to turn his camera toward his everyday surroundings. Often used as a location for television and film, Slota’s interpretation of Paterson eschews “the real.” Rather, the resulting photographs transform a declining urban environment into a surreal visual fantasia where buildings have faces and department store mannequins take flight.”
Little Red Riding Hood
There’s still plenty of time to see our current exhibition, Story, before the show closes on June 1st! Come see us to view these strange and beautiful narrative works in person…
One of the series included in this retrospective of works from Gerald Slota is called Fable. A bit more about Fable, written by Chuck Mobley, Director, San Francisco Camera Work:
“Fable takes well-known fairy tales as its source of inspiration. This was the first time Slota worked with narratives other than his own and the first time he used color film. As with his earlier series True, these photographs are also entirely staged with actors, however this time with the benefit of a slender budget that allowed him to shoot in the woods of upstate New York. Slota’s use of pinking shears to produce scalloped edges is an allusion to illustrations from children’s books.”
Stay tuned for features on the other series featured in the exhibition!
Hansel and Gretal
Check out this great little video that our talented intern, Ben, created! It contains snippets of the opening reception for Story, as well as footage of Gerald Slota creating original drawings directly onto the gallery walls!
We had a bit of extra wall space when hanging our current exhibition, Story, so Gerald had the idea to create some of his original drawings on the wall going down our stairway. We are thrilled with the results, these illustrations are they perfect addition to the show!
We love the ways in which this exhibition showcases many parts of the artists’ process: charcoal wall sketches, many of the artists’ own sketchbooks, 25 pieces from 5 different bodies of work (many of them 1 of a kind), and then his monograph, Story, which includes both evidence of his process + final works.
Further reason to come see this exciting exhibition in person! You can see even more of his illustrations (and take them home!) inside of Slota’s book, Story, which is for sale at the gallery. Story, which was listed as one of The New York Times Magazine’s Top 10 Photo Books of 2012, includes 36 illustrations, a text by Joyce Carol Oates, and, of course, numerous works from his prolific career.
We encourage you to visit the gallery while this landmark exhibition is up to see this riveting retrospective of works!
Thanks so much to everyone who came out to our exciting first opening of the season! We loved seeing some familiar faces and newcomers at Gerald Slota’s lecture at the Asheville Art Museum, and we were thrilled to celebrate the opening of our show season with this exciting landmark exhibition. Thanks to all of those who came out, enjoyed the show, said kind words, spoke with Gerald, enjoyed our tasty cocktails, enjoyed the lecture, etc.! We appreciate all of your support!
The exhibition is now online in it’s entirety, please take a look on our web site under the exhibition portfolio! If you are in or around the Asheville area throughout the duration of the show, keep in mind that while there are fantastic to view online, they are quite rich and even more captivating in person. The show will be up through June 1st, we hope to see you soon!
Please contact the gallery with any inquiries. Stay tuned for a video wrap up on the weekend of events!
Castell Photography is pleased to announce the opening of their newest exhibition, Story, featuring photo-based works from Gerald Slota on Friday, April 12th from 6p.m. to 8p.m. Gerald Slota will also be giving a lecture on his work at the Asheville Art Museum on Thursday, April 11th, at 6:00PM for $5/$4 for mueseum members & students. This will be Slota’s first exhibition since his book, Story, was listed as one of The New York Times Magazine’s top photo books of 2012. Story, which will include pieces from multiple bodies of work, serves as a mid-career retrospective for Slota, and will be accompanied by his monograph of the same name.
Story represents a selection of photographs, most of them unique, from five different bodies of Slota’s work beginning in 1998. Gerald Slota, whose entire artistic oeuvre has focused on imagined secret histories and subliminal narratives, often begins work on a new photograph with a sketch in one of his many journals. Much of Slota’s work, often torn and marked, is eerily nostalgic— quirky strange narratives, seemingly referencing other people’s dreams, nightmares, and memories. This exhibition explores both Slota’s process and his artistic projects. Featured is a selection of photographs, many of them unique, from 5 different bodies of work as well as a selection of Slota’s journals.
Gerald Slota is a fine artist and photographer who has been widely exhibited since the 1990’s in both the US and abroad. He has had solo shows at the George Eastman House in Rochester, NY, and Langhans Galerie in Prague, Czech Republic, SF CameraWork, as well as been shown at Recontres D’ Arles in Arles, France. His work is included in collections at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) and the Whitney Museum of Art in New York. Slota is represented by Ricco/Maresca Gallery in NYC and the Robert Berman Gallery in LA, and his images have appeared in numerous publications including The New York Times Magazine, Newsweek, The New Yorker, New York Magazine, Discover, andScientific America, as well as in BOMB, Blindspot, ARTNEWS, Art in America, and Aperture. He currently teaches at the School of Visual Arts in NYC, and has lectured at many institutions such as the International Center for Photography (ICP). Gerald Slota has garnered many awards including a Polaroid 20”x24” Grant, a MacDowell Artist Residency, and a Mid-Atlantic Fellowship Grant in 2001 and 2009.
This exhibition is accompanied by a 64-page monograph (Slota’s first) which will be for sale at the gallery throughout the duration of the exhibition. The monograph includes 36 illustrations and a text by Joyce Carol Oates (who has written some of the most enduring fiction of our time), in which she states,
“Slota has so appropriated the seemingly familiar objects of every day life, so suffused them with a discomforting strangeness, we are led to stare at such objects/images in the futile hope of understanding them”
This is a landmark exhibition for Castell Photography, and the gallery is thrilled to exhibit such an important collection of works by an influential working artist such as Slota. This show directly speaks to the gallery’s mission of showing work that is relevant to contemporary photography, as well as to the gallery’s mission of continually educating our visitors and clientele on the value and importance of photography as a fine art medium as well as within the art world as a whole.
The opening reception for Story will be held on Friday, April 12th from 6p.m. to 8p.m. Specialty cocktails will be served, and the artist will be in attendance to celebrate the evening, speak with guests, and enjoy the event. The show will remain on exhibit through May.
Renowned author Joyce Carol Oates, who wrote the introduction for our April/May artist Gerald Slota’s monograph, Story, has a lot of lovely things to say about our featured artist…
Slota’s monograph, Story,which was featured in The New York Times Magazine Top 10 Photo Books of 2012, will be available for purchase at the gallery throughout the duration of the exhibition — we’re thrilled with anticipation for this exciting exhibition weekend! Slota will also be giving an artist talk at Asheville Art Museum, as well as attending the opening reception event on Friday, April 12th, from 6-8 pm!
Castell Photography is pleased to announce the opening of our upcoming exhibition, Story, which will feature photo-based works from Gerald Slota on Friday, April 12th from 6p.m. to 8p.m. Gerald Slota will also be giving a lecture on his work at the Asheville Art Museum on Thursday, April 11th, at 6:00PM. This will be Slota’s ﬁrst exhibition since his monograph, Story, was listed as one of The New York Times Magazine’s top photo books of 2012. Story, which will include pieces from multiple bodies of work, serves as a mid-career retrospective for Slota, and will be accompanied by his monograph of the same name.
Story represents a selection of photographs, most of them unique, from ﬁve different bodies of Slota’s work beginning in 1998. Gerald Slota, whose entire artistic oeuvre has focused on imagined secret histories and subliminal narratives, often begins work on a new photograph with a sketch in one of his many journals. Much of Slota’s work, often torn and marked, is eerily nostalgic — quirky strange narratives, seemingly referencing other people’s dreams, nightmares, and memories.This exhibition explores both Slota’s process and his artistic projects. Featured is a selection of photographs, many of them unique, from 5 different bodies of work as well as a selection of Slota’s journals.
More details will be released in the coming weeks…stay tuned!
Give the gift of art this holiday season! We have a large breadth of work on the walls right now that can suit many different styles and budgets. 12 artists are featured in our current exhibition, along with many more in our back room + the print racks!
We’ll be open through Saturday the 22nd, and by private appointment, and can also accomodate your needs over the phone if you’re not close by. Simply contact us at 828.255.1188 and we will happily accomodate your needs over the phone. If you would like to set up a private appointment we would love to walk you through not only our current exhibition, but also the works in our back room + prints on file.
We can also be contacted via email at either email@example.com, or firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to assisting you in finding the perfect work of art for either yourself or a loved one this holiday season!
Each year we at Castell Photography host an international juried exhibition, each one utilizing a different theme as well as welcoming a guest curator. This year’s competition, “Road”, was conceived and curated by an esteemed champion of photography: collector, dealer, teacher, writer, W.M. Hunt. “Road” is meant to include a wide range of photographs from landscape to portraiture, anything that suggests a journey. Hunt both conceived the theme, curated the 36 chosen works out of over 600 entries, and also chose this year’s Juror’s Choice award winner. We are so thrilled and grateful to have worked with him, and are honored to call him a collaborator and friend. Enjoy a feature on his award winner, Matthew Baum, below!
Matthew Baum, Land of Lincoln
An excerpt from W.M. Hunt’s Juror’s statement, in reference to Baum’s work:
“The best work here is Matthew Baum’s triptych with its sweeping and epic view, limitless as it were. But it has something intangible. It has the weight of Roger Fenton’s “The Valley of the Shadow of Death”, 1855, with its a strikingly modern landscape, blank empty sky and easy rolling line of horizon, bisected by the left leading road littered with cannonballs, detritus that is mute witness to Crimean battle horror. That work is so spooky and deceptive, so simple and so potent. Similarly the Baum sees the lost testimonials worked into the brown earth which has been plowed over and over, with the erasing of histories and vectors of direction vaguely disappearing out of the frame. The details may be lost but not the spirit. The piece is cool, contemporary and chilling.
This is a wonderful photograph.
The road can be full of potential. We hope dreams will come true when we get to our destination. The photographer’s low vantage point can position us at the center of the work. We can take their place and become the protagonist: the seeker, the searcher, the traveler.”
From the very beginning of my relationship with photography, my instinct was to wander and make pictures. It started on a long road trip after I dropped out of architecture school. I was about to turn thirty and had no idea what was coming next. I was pretty scared and not handling it very well. So I went on a road trip, which ended up lasting a year and covering 20,000 miles. Very quickly, without any real forethought, photography began to drive the trip.
When I went to graduate school and first became aware of the ‘dialog’ and history of photography, for better and for worse, it kind of corrupted the naïveté of my experience of photography. But after getting knocked around a bit, I committed to developing my interest in making pictures spontaneously in the ‘real’ world, letting the camera guide me. Of course, my attitude towards photography had already evolved by that point.
Ultimately, making pictures became even more interesting within the context of school - with more thinking about what I was doing. But when I’m out photographing and it’s one of the good days, all of that stuff drops away. I just look and shoot. My teacher and friend Philip Perkis says, ‘You can’t shoot and think at the same time.’ I know there are exceptions to the rule, but those moments when I tap into the purity of my first experience of photography are probably still the most intoxicating. Ultimately, it is important for me to have a balance between the two.
The work is very much in the tradition of street photography – with all that that means. I go out into the world and react to what I see.
Of course, I am doing this in the 21st century, with all that that means. Living and teaching in New York, I have been very aware of the types of work and ideas within art that have dominated the ‘dialog’, so inevitably my work bounces off that in some way. Some of my favorite contemporary photographers are people like Philip-Lorca diDorcia and Thomas Demand – artists who ‘construct’ images, or at least investigate the space between ‘real’ and ‘constructed’ images. Really, I believe all images are both real and constructed.
Also, I have a background in architecture, which influences the way I see and construct the frame, and think about light. Even before I had any idea what I was doing, people asked if I had staged some of my street images. The combination of these and other influences, including a love of movies, made me interested in trying to make pictures that sort of flipped the ‘constructed’ photography thing upside down. That is, one of my interests was to make observational pictures in the ‘real’ world that look as if they have been staged.
Making the Eighteen pictures really got me to think about a lot of issues, and I hope the work connects with different people in different ways. Ultimately, I want the pictures to reflect my emotional and visual connection to the world. I think that at their best, the pictures relate something of the contradictions and complexities that I, and I think many people, experience in life.
As usual, the pictures began during my meandering road trips, as a record of where I’d traveled. I would stop at every ‘scenic overlook’ or ‘vista’ and take a picture. I thought that these deliberately constructed views were kind of funny and odd: ‘Look here!’ They’re like the little mouse feet you’re directed to stand on at Disney World so you can make the perfect picture of Cinderella’s Castle. It made it easier to decide where to stop and make pictures, which can be difficult for me when visiting new places.
When I travel by car, I get a really acute sense of the changes in landscape. I am fortunate to have seen a lot of the United States this way, and many of the places are very beautiful and epic, screaming to be photographed, so there are designated overlooks everywhere. But sometimes they are just bizarre, like the one in Kansas that overlooks a cattle feedlot. I forgot to close my door when I was shooting, and when I got back in there were a million flies in the car.
I eventually decided to open the project up to all kinds of places that had some significance – whether personal or official. This developed into the Overlook series.
The Civil War photographs are really a sub-set of the Overlook work. Gettysburg is on my favorite route out west, and over the years I keep going back. It took me a long time to begin to understand why, and it has become a very complex project for me.
The work has brought me back to my days as an undergraduate history major.
My friend and teacher, Charles Traub, is also a Civil War-buff, not to mention a talented raconteur. After a few road trips through the South with Charlie, I’m a full-fledged Civil War nerd.
Most of the Overlook pictures have been taken on long solitary road trips. There are many reasons why I love to go on the trips. Living and working in New York, I find it’s really important for me to leave the city for extended periods as a way of gaining perspective and getting my bearing. Also, I become dulled to my surroundings visually if I don’t get out. So as much as I love seeing different places, it also helps refresh the way I see my usual surroundings when I get home.
When I am on the road, I always relish the emptiness of the places between cities and off the main highways. Once you get out there, there is a lot of space between people, and it affects everything. Traveling by myself much of the time, I experience the aloneness very acutely, and it encourages a particular sensitivity to both the outside world and to my inner dialog. I want the pictures to convey some sense of that ‘aloneness’ I feel when on the road, which is different than the ‘aloneness’ I sometimes feel in a crowd.
With the Civil War series, I usually prefer to visit the sites off-season. It is the history of human presence in these places that I am most interested in. So I think it helps me to reflect on the ghosts when I am by myself.
First, it systematized things, so that many decisions are made before I even find a place to shoot. It’s always nice to have a set of parameters to work within. Otherwise, there are just too many choices to be made. Sometimes I impose these rules on myself so I can stop thinking about work and get something done. Of course, even within parameters there are infinite possibilities and choices to be made. This is one of the complexities of photography.
Over time, I realized that the consistency of the frame – like in the Bechers work or Sugimoto’s Seascapes – allowed the pictures to more effectively become a typology of the physical landscape. So while the approach is very ‘photographic’, it also allows the focus to be on the landscape, itself, rather than the choices I make in framing it.
Coming from an architectural background, I am always thinking about the relationship of two-dimensional and three-dimensional space in photography. Architects are trained to imagine three-dimensional space in two dimensions – blueprints, auto-cad, etc. Photographers are trained to compress the three-dimensional world onto two, usually paper or a screen. Because I pivot from a central point when I make the pictures, the illusion of space becomes even more complex. The depth is not only front-to-back, but also side-to-side, which creates very interesting geometries in the images. Actually, I’m currently building some frames with hinges that will allow the work to be viewed both flat on the wall and ‘surrounding’ the viewer.
On another level, I think I’ve been drawn to these places because of the sacrifices that were made there. I feel very detached from war. I personally know very few people of my generation who have served. I realized the choice to enlist is both socio-economic and regional. I never considered serving in the military and thankfully, never had to. I think as someone for whom war is abstract, even when it’s happening everywhere, there’s always a lingering question: What would I have done if I’d been put to the test?
In the case of the Civil War, I hope that I would have fought willingly for what is right. In my opinion, what was essentially at stake in the Civil War was the soul of the country. Emancipation institutionally reset our moral compass. Unfortunately, in practice, this imperative is not always followed. The legacy of the Civil War, in both its success and failures, defines the fundamental issues that resonate through our society today.
One of the reasons I love photography is that it’s led me to think about these types of things. A good photograph is almost always both a window and a mirror. For me, this work continuously proves that. Making pictures is an endless wormhole, like Alice down the rabbit hole.
‘Street Photography’ is hard to define, but for me, it’s just part of the process of looking with a camera. So I hope and think I will always do it. But I also hope my pictures and ideas will continue to evolve.
MB: I have many influences, and to make a list would inherently be exclusionary. But I will offer this: If I could have only one book of photographs on a desert island, it would be an album of pictures of family and friends. If I could have two, the second would most likely be by Andre Kertesz.
Baum’s works + all works from the 33 artists included in Road can be seen on our web site under the exhibition portfolio, and you can view more of Matthew’s work at www.matthewbaum.com. Please direct all inquiries to email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org, or by phone: 828.255.1188.
Each year at Castell Photography we host an international juried exhibition, each one utilizing a different theme as well as welcoming a guest curator. This year’s competition, “Road”, was conceived and curated by an esteemed champion of photography: collector, dealer, teacher, writer, W.M. Hunt. “Road” is meant to include a wide range of photographs from landscape to portraiture, anything that suggests a journey. Hunt chose a Juror’s Choice Award winner, and the gallery selected it’s Gallery Choice Award winner, Vincent Serbin. This isn’t Serbin’s 1st time exhibiting at Castell Photography — he was also included in last year’s juried exhibition, Manipulated, curated by Ariel Shanberg. We were pleased to see his entry for this year’s exhibition, and were delighted to see his work chosen for the show!
“In Hunt’s statement discussing the theme for our call for entries, he said, “The road can be personal: a psychological or spiritual passage.” It was this idea that attracted me to Serbin’s piece - It is soulful, and is unlike all others in the exhibition. It is distinct in that it truly represents this idea of a journey of the mind.”
-Gallery Owner Brie Castell
CP: Tell us about your working methods. What are the original materials and processes?
VS: I shoot 4X5 black and white film with a traditional view camera. I cut and tear the negatives and distress them in various ways by scratching, sanding and writing upon them. The pieces are held together with cellophane tape. ( The tape also functions as a compositional element. ) The finished construction is then fastened to a clear sheet of 8X10 film. I make traditional enlargements on fiber based silver gelatin paper with my 8X10 enlarger. The final prints are uniquely toned with sepia and selenium toners. Every print has been personally made by me.
Serbin’s works + all works from the 33 artists included in Road can be seen on our web site under the exhibition portfolio. Please direct all inquiries to email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org, or by phone: 828.255.1188.