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Truth in Lies

Is fiction truth or lies? Is it incumbent upon an artist to tell the truth, or to find the deeper truth within what may appear to be a lie? How might that apply to visual art and, in particular, to photography?  Historically, photography and its associated aesthetic have traveled a road fraught with dissension about just such questions, from the ‘Nature’s Pencil’ of Neo-Romantic Pictorialism to Modernism’s ‘plausible objective acuity.’  Post Modernism decrees that objective acuity is a farce, that the photographic document is a fiction and, as such, should be proud of its fictional virtues; the more fiction, the better truth.

For an artist, each piece he/she makes speaks its own truth: from blurred blocks of color possessing their own life force, to the sharp, textured leavings of man’s hand.  Every photograph has some truth and some myth; some invite a thousand words (or more). Gallery 1855’s April show, Floridata, is a mixture of the lies of truth and the truth in lies.  Even the title reveals the tension of this dichotomy: is it ‘data of Florida’ or, rather, the state of being that the word ‘Florida’ implies?

Floridata, featuring pieces from an on-going series by photographic artist Joseph Finkleman, encompasses an exploration of sensibility and perspective of several gardens in Florida.  Taken over a four year period, Finkleman has varied his approach, his point of view, and his sense of picture each year, so that while seeing essentially the same landscape over and over, the work is substantially different each time.  His photographs reveal to the viewer something of the mysteries and dark wonder that lurk in small gardens for those whose eyes are open to them.

The public is invited to join us at a free open house and artist’s reception for Joseph Finkleman on Sunday, April 10, 2011 between 1 P.M. and 4 P.M. at Gallery 1855, in the office of the Davis Cemetery District, 820 Pole line Road, Davis CA 95618 (530) 756 7807, or to view the work any time Monday through Friday 9 AM – 3 PM during the month of April.

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