Tuesday, October 14, 2003

Michiko Kon: Still Lifes

Moving classical photography in different directions, the Japanese artist Michiko Kon uses traditional technique to photograph non-traditional subject matter. Often using objects such as fish parts, salmon roe, old shoes, and mannequin limbs to create gothic still lifes that are disturbing and engaging. I saw an exhibition of her work a couple of years ago at the San Jose Museum of Art and have had the program on my office bulletin board ever since.

Her work seems to exude decay. The Black and White images have a shallow depth of field, sometimes murky and with a lot of contrast. Not much falls in the middle grays, her backgrounds are shadowy and often obscure. The eye is drawn to her carefully composed subjects. Her color work is more reminiscent of a technicolor Hammer Horror Flick than of a Weston still life. Her work, while sometimes shocking, can be oddly meditative.

Click here for an article with slideshow (Click on Preview Exhibition) from Aperture.

And here for an article on the San Jose exhibition from the SJ Metro.

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