looking at him looking back

may 30 - june 24. 2000

opening reception : saturday, june 3, 3 - 5:30pm

Aaron Cobbett . • . David Deal . • . Duane Michals

Mark Morrisroe . • . Jack Pierson . • . Luke Smalley


Aaron Cobbett, Gregory, 1998, C-print, 20 x 16in. 1/11

Conceived as an exploration of the observed as observer, all of the work in this exhibit confronts the viewer with the direct gaze of the subject. From lurid to sweet to proud and seductive, the eyes demand the viewer's attention despite the physical beauty of the subject's body. One exception is the inclusion of Jack Pierson's back portraits, which, oddly enough, are less voyeuristic and more inviting than the direct gaze of the other figures.

Aaron Cobbett straddles the line between pop/porn/magazine culture and fine art. His voyeuristic, ripped gay boy portraits are absurdly posed in strict relief plane reminiscent of allegorical Neoclassicists like Jacques Louis-David. However,here the allegory (involving kitschy-Americana sets) is somewhat less idealistically republican (in the 19th century usage) and a bit more obsessed with the temporal concerns of the flesh.


David Deal, Tony Stephens, Infielder, Hagerstown Suns, Hagerstown, MD, 1998, silver gelatin print, 13" x 13", ed. 3/10
David Deal focuses on the traditional aspects of black and white photography such as light, composition and texture. His portraits of minor league baseball players capture the strength, bravado, and dreams of youth determined to succeed at the game they love.

Duane Michals' Walt Whitman series juxtaposes snippets of text from Leaves of Grass with Michals' rich portraits of curly-headed youth. Perhaps an interpretation of Whitman's ideas of sex, love and nature, the seductive gaze of each figure is something other than innocent, yet not quite lurid, much like nature itself.






Duane Michals
Leaves of Grass, 1995, silver gelatin print with hand applied text, 20" x 16", ed. 3/25

Mark Morrisroe led a tragic, underworld life of a hustler/artist until his work began to be recognized near the end of his short life. His portraits of himself and his friends in the romantic murky shadows that surrounded their lives follow him from his days of youthful beauty to his skeletal final days before he succumbed to AIDS in the late 80's.

Mark Morrisroe, Untitled, 1986 (self-portrait with head and torso in 3/4 view)
b&w photograph printed from Polaroid negative 8" x 10"
Jack Pierson is one of the most sought after photographers working today. His recent series of male nudes captures the fragility and grace of the male form. Photographed in a slightly over exposed, cool palette of pale blues, grays and subtle pinks, the figures appear soft, gentle and delicate.

Jack Pierson, Chris' Back, 1998, c-print, 40" x 30", ed. 1/10

Jack Pierson, Torso (Chris), 1998 c-print, 40" x 30", ed. 1/10

Charlie's Back, 1998 c-print, 30" x 40", ed. 1 of 10

Luke Smalley's photographs of teenage athletes seem to be from some other time or place than the northwestern Pennsylvania towns where the photographer recently found and photographed them. For the past ten years the photographer has painstakingly coordinated the creation of this work, often making his own athletic equipment, props, and costumes.

Luke Smalley, Megaphone I, 1999, silver gelatin print on
matte paper, 61/2" x 41/2" image size, ed. 15/15

Luke Smalley, Dustin, Rowing Machine I, 1999, silver gelatin print on matte paper, 61/2" x 41/2" image size, ed. 15/15

Luke Smalley, Rowing Team, 1994, silver gelatin print on matte paper, 61/2" x 41/2" image size, ed. 15/15