Jack Spencer: Beyond the Surface
With fall upon us, Jackson Fine Art is pleased to kick off the 2013 Atlanta Art season with two stellar solo exhibitions of contemporary photography by Southern natives: Jeannette Montgomery Barron, of Atlanta, and Jack Spencer, of Nashville.
Jack Spencer is renowned in the art world as well as the music and entertainment industry with his painterly photographs of people, places, and things that truly remark on the essence of the subject. Spencer’s new series, Mythologies, reveals the artist’s interest in the idiosyncrasy of perception, the vulnerability of life, and the unwavering importance of beauty. Starting simply with a request for a commissioned portrait, Jack, uninspired by what we know as typical portraiture, decided to experiment by painting and marking his subjects with vibrant patterns and colors as you may find reminiscent in famed fashion photographer Irvin Penn’s portraits of the indigenous people in Peru and New Guinea. With his use of paint, Jack takes the viewer far deeper than the surface by transforming his subject. Not intentionally but instinctively, Spencer uses the style of Edward Steichen’s Pictorialist photography with soft-focus and the gritty realism of Robert Frank to add to the ambiguity and mystery of his photography. While some may look to photography for its certainty, Spencer opts for the richness and reward of subjectivity. This mystery and ambiguity, combined with its tonal wealth, transports us into an undefined realm somewhere between fact and fiction.