October 12 – November 11, 2006
Thursday, October 12, 2006
6:00 to 8:00 p.m.
ClampArt is pleased to announce “Monkey Portraits*” by Jill Greenberg, the artist’s first solo show in New York City. The exhibition coincides with the release of the Greenberg’s wonderful monograph of the same title from Bulfinch Press.
Jill Greenberg first established her artistic reputation as a preeminent celebrity photographer, shooting such Hollywood personalities as David Bowie, Liza Minelli, Drew Barrymore, Clint Eastwood, Tom Cruise, and many more. Her images have appeared in numerous prestigious periodicals including Time, Wired, Entertainment Weekly, and Rolling Stone.
In 2001, Greenberg turned her lens on celebrities of a different sort – – namely monkeys and apes, many of whom have appeared in film and television roles. These brilliant portraits convey the startling range of emotions and personalities in our closest biological cousins with whom we share about 98 percent of our DNA.
Referring to Jacques Lacan’s psychoanalytic theory, artist and critic Paul Myoda writes: “[Greenberg] mischievously shows us another type of mirror stage, where we confront an ancient and distorted reflection, another startling spectacle, and try to make sense of who, or what we are seeing. By intentionally anthropomorphizing – – or giving human qualities to – – her monkeys, we can’t help but identify with their gaze, and be reminded of people we know, expressions that we have seen before. Are they judging us? Laughing at us? Showing us that a couple extra chromosomes just doesn’t make that much of a difference when all is said and done?”
Printed on a massive scale, Greenberg’s monkeys insistently demand our undivided attention; yet the gorgeous prints also seduce us in a subtler (and perhaps more powerful) manner with their sensuous, painterly textures achieved by the artist’s expert digital finishing.