The rest of the photographs inhabit a dirty middle grey, where the shoulders and fingers of young men are covered with grime, and graffiti (or its muted, painted over absence) lingers nearby. Two images of the massive body of New York Knicks center Tyson Chandler are the most striking of this group, his muscled shoulders and narrow waist creating an exaggerated triangular form when seen from behind. In the second image, Chandler rears back pulling up his black t-shirt to show a paragraph of inspirational text tattooed along his right side. Both photographs are powerfully sculptural, while still retaining Marcopolous' smudged underground realism.
While not every one of these images resonated with me, I was most interested by the recurring idea of an alternate photographic aesthetic, where traditional crispness and clarity have been traded for something purposefully rougher and less controlled. Marcopolous' photocopy look reminded me of Moriyama and the Provoke era Japanese photographers, as applied to facets of contemporary American subculture. His visual approach matches his chosen subject matter well, capturing its truths and spirit without cleaning them up.
- Artist site (here)
- Features: Wall Street Journal (here), New York (here), Tyson Chandler's blog (here)
- Exhibit: 2010 Whitney Biennial (here)
Through June 16th
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