Delphine Burtin’s Trompe-L’oeil Compositions Distort the Everyday
In her first U.S. solo show at Benrubi Gallery, “Encouble,” Burtin presents an investigative series she started while completing a degree in photography, following a long-time career as a graphic designer. Her background in photography no doubt informs the rigorous compositions, which are intently focused on the arrangement of light and shadow.
To achieve her
Another technique that Burtin employs to distance her subjects from reality is the use of exaggerated lighting—whether enhanced natural light or in the studio. Sometimes she juxtaposes the two light sources through collage. The low-contrast and elevated view in Untitled, Encouble (#46) (2013) sets up an enigmatic mood. Eventually, after prolonged viewing, the uncertain image coheres and we realize we’re simply looking at a cracked eggshell.
Burtin’s take on the still-life has a strong narrative element, with each image telling a story of how an ordinary object is transformed into something surreal. The experience of looking at the photographs is one characterized by a constant back-and-forth and multiple glances, asking oneself where the boundary between reality and artifice lies.
“Encouble” is on view at Benrubi Gallery, New York, Sept. 10 – Oct. 24, 2015.