November 20, 2014 – January 3, 2015 [EXTENDED]
Thursday, November 20, 2014
6.00 – 8.00 pm
ClampArt is happy to present “For You!,” an exhibition of photographs by John Arsenault—the artist’s fourth solo show at the gallery.
Best known for his arresting self-portraits, Arsenault’s new series of photographs of roses highlights the artist’s fascination with quotidian beauty and the unexpected way in which the familiar can be celebrated through the use of readily available technology.
“For You!” reveals a tender, romantic side of Arsenault—an image-maker steeped in the history of art. In an aesthetic tradition echoing Georgia O’Keeffe, Arsenault’s tightly-focused photographs of flowers are a 21st-century update on a subject that has fascinated artists back to the 17th-century Dutch flower painters.
Composing the photographs with his iPhone and uploading them to Instagram, Arsenault is able to receive immediate feedback on new images from his followers. The ubiquitous nature of cell phone cameras and Instagram’s growth as a kind of casual “sketchbook” for many young artists is reflected in this project, which was often made during Arsenault’s daily routine. The innovations in digital file sharing then allow the photographer to send his images from his studio in Los Angeles to his printer in New York City instantaneously. The speed with which this allows him to work, in addition to the crowdsourced critique, have ultimately resulted in more images from which to create a tighter final edit, and a more streamlined process than his traditional working method with analog film.
Arsenault has said of this work: “I’ve always loved taking photographs of flowers because it reminds me of my late grandmother Elizabeth, and this is a way for me to honor her and my family roots.” Raised in a small town in northern Massachusetts, John Arsenault moved to New York City in 1997 to pursue a degree in photography at the School of Visual Arts. Arsenault’s work is represented in the permanent collections of the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art in Overland Park, Kansas and the Museum of Fine Arts,