July 14, 2024

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Juxtapoz Magazine – With Soft Eyes: Photographs by Austin Leong, Adrian Martinez, and Henry Wessel

2 min read
Juxtapoz Magazine – With Soft Eyes: Photographs by Austin Leong, Adrian Martinez, and Henry Wessel

With Tender Eyes at the Center for Photographic Artwork options photographs taken in California more than the last six decades by modern day Bay Area–based photographers Austin Leong and Adrian Martinez and chosen functions also shot in California by the late Henry Wessel. Performing mainly with 35mm black-and-white movie, Leong, Martinez, and Wessel display how images is uniquely positioned to explain with lyricism, poignancy, and humor what is usually ignored in working day-to-working day lifetime.

The exhibition’s title alludes to the way Wessel the moment explained how he photos in the entire world, with an energetic recognition he termed “soft eyes”: “It is a actual physical feeling. You are not looking for anything. You are open up, receptive. At some point you are in entrance of some thing that you are not able to disregard.” Wessel’s knowledge of and method to the medium continues to resonate with present-day photographers like Leong and Martinez, whose cameras are usually at the completely ready as they mindfully observe their environment.

Just as Wessel documented cultural signifiers unique to his time—lone phone booths, roadside marketing indications, and period-specific design—Leong and Martinez capture ubiquitous cellphones, mask-clad faces, and graffiti punctuating the urban landscape. Even so, a timelessness pervades lots of of the pictures—a sense that the persons, sites, or scenes depicted transcend the singularity of their second. They exemplify how having to pay shut attention and staying responsive to the earth as it is unfolding can expose the unexpected in the seemingly mundane.

A grouping of images from Wessel’s iconic overall body of operate California and the West anchors the exhibition. These photographs present a formal, aesthetic, and conceptual framework towards which to take into consideration how Leong and Martinez operate in this lineage while extending its visible vocabulary into the current. The shared sensibilities among the 3 reverberate all through the clearly show, possibly most obviously when their photographs are aspect by side, as in the middle of the gallery house. But even when considered individually, the connective threads are unmistakable.

The exhibition is curated by Allie Haeusslein.

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