The Contemporary Art Center’s exhibit “Nearest Neighbor” features the works of contemporary commercial and art photographer Roe Ethridge.
Ethridge’s artwork explores the plastic, unrealistic nature of photography and how multiple images can be combined to create new visuals and experiences. Many of his pieces are reworkings of already published images, which he adds new creations to or highly stylized additions to. Occasionally, he will tackle a landscape or portrait, imbuing it with surprising elements and intricacies.
This exhibit leads the CAC’s 2016 FotoFocus Biennial, exploring the theme of the “Undocument,” which is the idea of the blurry line between fabrication and photography — an idea which is at the forefront of Ethridge’s work. The exhibit is Ethridges’s first-ever solo museum show in the U.S., showcasing over 15 years of his collected photography.
“His work will just as likely feature a plastic bag or a pumpkin sticker as a bottle of Chanel perfume or a supermodel,” the CAC’s release reads.
“Nearest Neighbor” refers to the photographic term, “nearest neighbor,” meaning the type of sampling used when resizing a digital image. It also refers to the fact that Ethridge often includes his friends and family — and himself — as the subjects of his photography.
“An important part of the process for me is having two personalities,” Ethridge told Sleek magazine. “One is sort of the fugue state shooter who is intuitively doing something, and then there is the editor who is the selector, sequencer, finisher. That is the hard part: having both voices sort of work for you. Sometimes I depend on other people to advise. But one of my favorite parts is that sequencing, putting one thing after another in order to create something new.”
GO: “Roe Ethridge: Nearest Neighbor,” The Contemporary Art Center, 44 E Sixth St., 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Wednesday-Friday, 10 a.m.-4p.m. Saturday-Monday. Continues through March 12. FREE.