Starry, Starry Nights
McKinney Avenue Contemporary
April 23 through May 14, 2011
The McKinney Avenue Contemporary (The MAC) is currently featuring the Starry, Starry Nights exhibition curated by the wonderful June Mattingly. This is a Five Light-Filled installation that features art with an emphasis on light brought alive literally and figuratively in five distinct mediums by five distinguished Texas artists. This is why I am a fan of June Mattingly, she has always supported Texas artists either through her gallery years ago, her website, her column in Dallas Modern Luxury, and her guest curation. The Texas artists that are participating in this exhibition are Adela Andea, Chris Lattanzio, Jeremy McKane, Susie Rosmarin, and Billy Zinser.
When I heard that Jeremy McKane would be featuring his underwater photography, in all honesty, I was prepared for more of the same underwater photography that is everywhere I go lately. However, McKane is not your typical photographer, and these 6 x 4 feet works of art are not like anything I have ever seen before.
McKane’s photos have a painterly quality that he achieves the old fashioned way – by pushing the lighting, the camera, and the model to get the look he wants , and not depending on post production effects. This immediacy is captured in frame, and provides the viewer with a provocative and sensual experience. These large photographs were installed in hand constructed aluminum mounts so that the photograph will have an exact 90 degree angle from the viewer’s eye to the surface of the print. (Oh McKane, show me why nerds are sexy with knowing how to use math to delight me.)
These photographs were taken at night, and one of the main effects of this is that the backgrounds drop away completely, the model seems to float in a dark space that defies definition. McKane then used various colored lights to highlight the beautiful fabrics that wrap around the models body in perfect symmetry. His use of the same model in each photograph impressed me and gave the collection cohesion. The model is an absolute beauty with the right form to translate sexy athlete meets beautiful mermaid.
My favorite from the collection is a photograph displaying the model in a red dress and she appears to be diving down into a pool of water. The darkness along with the appearance of light skin and rich reds give an alluring sensuality to this work. A surprise from the show is a video of the model swimming in the dark water in a dress of light and dark pink that is projected on the concrete floor.
Jeremy McKane has taken underwater photography to the next level here in Dallas. He impressed me with not only his beautiful and sexy photographs, but his personal style. He was in a dark navy suit, a complementary silk tie and amazing leather shoes. A man with fine shoes and an eye for beauty is a man worth knowing. I highly recommend you making it down to the Starry, Starry Nights installation at the McKinney Avenue Contemporary while you can.