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Gillian Pears, Tommy Reynolds and Ryan Widger Essay

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Updated: Oct 2nd, 2021

This very paper is a response to the three pieces of art of photography, the response to them will include the techniques used by the artists and the major topics they display as well as their correspondence to the modern trends in this art. This paper will focus on the works by Gillian Pears, Tommy Reynolds and Ryan Widger that could be seen in 2008 in the Print Center Gallery during a specialized exhibition and talks given by the photographers.

Gillian Pears is a rather young but at the same time quite known photographer from Philadelphia. Her works, as well as the pieces of work by two other photographers under consideration in this paper, are reflections of the newest and the most actual trends in the art nowadays. The first idea that occurs to mind when one sees the photos by Gillian Pears is that her works are reflections of the reality of industrial, or even post industrial, society. This idea is based on the subjects of Pears’ photos – the majority of the display ordinary pieces of furniture, apartments in which chaos is ruling, etc. For example one of her photos displays a corner in a flat with wallpaper on the walls and with a white ceiling. A piece of oilcloth is stretched along the room fitted by a piece of an adhesive tape hanging from the ceiling. The artistic ideal of the photographer is, therefore, the objective reality of life as it is and can be seen not only by artists but by ordinary persons in their day-to-day lives.

Tommy Reynolds, another artist from Philadelphia, is also concerned with the modern style of life as can be seen from his works. They are full of bright colors that distract attention from any specific item that the spectator wants to focus on and reflect the reality of today – the life is fast and no one has time to stop for a while and concentrate. In Reynolds’ photos such topics are touched upon as industrial progress and its impact on human lives, attempts of people to adjust to the modern way of life and the reality they create around them for this purpose. For instance, one of the photos by Reynolds displays a room in which a desk is placed. There is a lamp on it, and the surrounding of the desk is the combination of huge variety of colors that symbolize chaotic character of modern life. The most interesting aspect is a picture in the corner of the room which shows that a room belongs to an artist and this might explain the chaos in it, as thoughts of artists are usually in chaos as well.

The third artist under consideration, again from Philadelphia, is Ryan Widger, and his works, although being rather similar in their topics and ideas to the works by two previous photographers, have a specific feature – they are black-and-white. Using no variety of colors in his works, Ryan Widger is probably trying to limit himself on the essence of the objects he portrays but not on their form. Moreover, black-and-white photos allow the artist to be focused on the playing of light and shadow in the photos and by this to render the actual state of this or that thing in its permanent change. One of his works displays a piece of pipe sticking out from the gap in the door. This pipe, to my mind, embodies the reality of today’s life – it is based upon the industrial progress and can be easily destroyed like that piece of pipe on the photo. However, people agree on such a life and do their best to adjust to its demands (Center City District Gallery Night & Gallery Talk, 2008).

Thus, all the three artists analyzed have much in common in their works – they are all concerned with modern problems and display their concerns in their photos. Modern society, and the trends it brings to art, finds its reflection in the photos exhibited in the Print Center Gallery on October, 17th, 2008, and displays the overall direction of art towards modernization.

Works Cited

“Center City District Gallery Night & Gallery Talk”. Current and Upcoming Events. 2008. The Print Center. Web.

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