In Exploding Photographs, Collaborative Partners Manipulate Light

Gallerists and artists Tom and Lois White, better known by their moniker ToLo, recently debuted a new series “Explosure” at their space in Asbury Park, New Jersey, Exhibit No. 9. The works in the exhibition explore the fluctuations of light and challenge the viewer’s perception of seemingly detonating photographic images. By manipulating light sources at various times of the day, ToLo captures patterns of luminosity that would not otherwise be visible to the naked eye. The couple has turned their lens on streetlights, neon signs, and explosives. 

The black-and-white images in their “Underlight Studies” present abstracted scenes where light patterns are inverted, forming kinetic black spirals. “Our idea is to imagine what it is like to be up close and inside an event and visualize the light and energy more intimately. We photograph, dissect and reconfigure the scenes, then re-launch the sequence. With the combination of abstract and representational, we retain an essence of the original event but with a new painterly chaos,” the duo wrote of their new work. Despite their spontaneity, these explosive light designs appear carefully composed. With the “Fireworks” series, ToLo created volatile, close-up images of explosives merging with light, resulting in vividly colored, painterly designs.

The Whites are both designers and photovisual artists. Tom has dabbled in commercial-oriented work, producing images that have been widely commissioned and celebrated, while Lois, as a fashion designer and photographer, has become known for a keen eye for composition and works that display interconnected concept and design. The duo’s artist statement underlines their devotion to collaboration: “We aim in all our work to find the peace between quiet and hectic and the point at which they intersect. We are travelers and observers viewing our world and experiences through two complementary yet unique identities.” Together they founded Exhibit No. 9 in 2013 in the heart of Asbury Park’s burgeoning arts scene; the exhibition will mark the first anniversary of the gallery’s opening. 

Sola Agustsson

Explosure” is on view at Exhibit No. 9, Asbury Park, New Jersey, Nov. 15–Dec. 28, 2014.  

Follow Exhibit No. 9 on Artsy.

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