Friday, June 18, 2010

Boy Art from Santa Fe Review

Seeing this work by Las Cruces based photography student Christopher Mortensen (that's him in all the photos here) was a breath of fresh air. I find I'm getting tired of set-up photography that seems too belabored. Somehow that takes the fun out of it... These are well done enough to be good to look at without overdoing it.
After seeing the giant color light boxes at the Rodney Graham show at 303 yesterday, I am still thinking about this business of overdoing it. In that case, even when the image is meant to be funny, somehow it isn't. For example Graham's one-liner "Dance!" showing the artist tap dancing under duress. I'm not saying I don't think execution and craft are important, I just think the original energy seems to dissipate with too much fussing and perfection.
Another reason I liked Mortensen's images is that they deal with sex in an interesting way. I think that there isn't enough good or clever photography about real sex, but I'm always hoping to be surprised.
One of my favorites here is Mortensen instructing an audience of stick figures about his own pictures. I think any art student can relate to this one..

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