Friday, July 20, 2012

Scott B. Davis, Black Sun @Hous Projects

JTF (just the facts): A total of 13 black and white photographs, framed in black and unmatted, and hung in the entry and the space to the right as you exit the elevator. All of the works are platinum palladium prints made between 2008 and 2012. The prints are each sized 21x26, and are available in editions of 5. (Installation shots at right.)

Comments/Context: Black is the overwhelmingly dominant color in Scott B. Davis' night photographs of Southern California suburban darkness. It's a rich, tactile black (enabled by the platinum palladium process he uses) that engulfs the neighborhoods and desert scrublands, swallowing them up in a deep, textural sable that is broken only by lonely shafts and pools of dimly penetrating light. It's a world not unlike Robert Adams' Summer Nights, but even darker and more obscure.
In many of Davis' pictures, a ghostly subject emerges from the thick blackness, reluctantly called out by the encroaching light: the pock marked, rusted out trunk of a car, a dock covered in crusted salty residue, the white painted rocks that edge a driveway, a cluster of small white bush flowers that float like pinpricks or fireflies. In others, nocturnal suburban neighborhoods and transitional spaces echo in silence: the bright reflected light on the side of weedy alleyway shed, a water tower looming in the darkness (with a nod to George Tice), a VW bus parked in the street, an empty intersection bathed in the cone of light of a single streetlamp.

While we've seen pictures like these before, Davis' technical control of the dark end of the spectrum is certainly impressive. His blacks are lustrous and detailed, dense and mysterious, bringing forth the adventure and insecurity lurking in the shadows.

Collector's POV: The prints in this show are priced at $4500 each. Davis' work has not yet reached the secondary markets, so gallery retail is likely the best option for those collectors interested in following up.

Rating: * (one star) GOOD (rating system described here)

Transit Hub:
  • Artist site (here)
  • Interview: LENSCRATCH (here)
Scott B. Davis, Black Sun
Through September 1st

Hous Projects
31 Howard Street
New York, NY 10013

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

thanks for posting.