Yossi Milo Gallery is pleased to present West Side at Tioronda, an exhibition of new photographs by John Chiara. The exhibition will open on Thursday, April 14, and will be on view through Saturday, May 21, with a reception for the artist on Thursday, April 14 from 6:00 – 8:00 pm. This is the artist’s first solo exhibition at the gallery.
For the first time in his career, San Francisco-based artist John Chiara is working in New York, capturing Manhattan and the Hudson River Valley with his distinctive photographic equipment and singular developing process. In approaching two areas with undeniably rich histories as subjects of photography and painting, Chiara presents the familiar in unfamiliar ways, often boldly inverting color and abstracting the image by finding unique perspectives. Drawing inspiration from early photographers such as Edward Steichen, Chiara creates similarly evocative photographs that meditate on place and speak to the environment as it is felt, rather than seen. He extends the lineage of collective memory embedded in these locations with his own sensibility and vision.
Instead of using film negatives, Chiara shoots directly onto color photographic paper with large-scale, hand-made cameras, the largest of which must be physically entered in order to position the photographic paper. While making an exposure, he burns, dodges and often filters the light entering through the lens as if working in the darkroom. Chiara processes these one-of-a-kind photographs in large sections of capped PVC pipes that he rolls across the studio floor. The prints retain traces of the developing process, such as streaks, drips, and unevenly saturated colors, evidence of the hands-on nature of making these pictures in an approach that is ultimately part photography and part event.
Works by John Chiara were included in the 7-artist exhibition Light, Paper, Process: Reinventing Photography at the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles. His photographs have been exhibited at the Harry Ransom Center, University of Texas at Austin; Museum of Photographic Arts, San Diego; San Jose Museum of Art, San Jose; Museum Bärengasse, Zurich; de Young, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, and are in the permanent collections of the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC; Haggerty Museum of Art, Milwaukee, WI; Museum of Photographic Arts, San Diego, CA; J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles; Harry Ransom Center, University of Texas at Austin; and Los Angeles County Museum of Art. The artist was born in 1971 and currently divides his time between San Francisco and New York City.