Breaking Tradition

David Armentor • Rosanna Salonia
• Matthew Yates
November 19 ~ December 24, 2008

Non-Tradional Holiday Party and Artists Reception, November 21, 6-10 pm

Benham Gallery is pleased to announce the final show of 2008, Breaking Tradition, as a celebration and recognition of iconic photographer Robert Frank, and the upcoming 5oth anniversary of Frank’s “The Americans,” opening in January 2009 at the National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C. Just as Americans and their culture were rediscovered in a new way through the eyes of Robert Frank, Breaking Tradition takes us on a similar visual quest to an unexpected way of seeing. This exhibit evokes the feeling of individual journeys by the three artists, in three unique ways, with the common undercurrent of each searching for and capturing the surreal in the ordinary. The images portray a travelogue brought to life, inviting the viewer to walk the path of the artists’ experiences. The objects and human elements are captured and portrayed in non-traditional manners, from the suitcases of David Armentor, to the encaustics of Rosanna Salonia, and Matthew Yates’ leather-bound family albums.

Gulf Coast Louisiana native David Armentor is a uniquely talented emerging artist who describes his photographs as, “observations grounded with representational objects.” Through his approach, Armentor creates work that inspires us to see significance in the insignificant, often with an eye for the tone, design and simplicity of the subject. A Louisiana State University graduate of Photography, History and Anthropology, David Armentor has exhibited his works since 2003 in Louisiana and Seattle, including exhibits at the Jonathan Ferrara Gallery in New Orleans, and the Forum 35 Art Melt in Baton Rouge. Armentor is also the recipient of the 2007 St. Tammany Arts Association Juried Artists Exhibition Severson/Williamson Award of Excellence.

Italian-born Rosanna Salonia brings us serendipitous visual narratives in installations exploring human relationships to the environment and the process of preserving memories. Inspired by the desert regions of the Southwestern United States and Northwestern Mexico, Salonia describes the intent of her work as “to capture the magic of a place and to bring it home in the most sensual manner I am able to concoct.” The magic of Salonia’s work is achieved by capturing images with a Holga and other toy cameras, manipulating the prints
in the darkroom, preserving them in pure beeswax and presenting them randomly in precious found boxes, inviting the viewer to interact with the pieces on all sensory
levels, from the visual to the olfactory. A Summa Cum Laude BFA graduate from the University of Arizona, Rosanna Salonia has exhibited widely nationally and internationally, including the Photographic Center NorthWest, Seattle, the Festival de La Luz in Buenos Aires, the Kiyosato Museum of Photographic Arts, Japan, and institutions in Milan, Paris, and Köln. Her works are in the collections of the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, the Kiyosato Museum of Photographic Arts, the International Center for Photography in Verona, Italy, and the University of Arizona Special Collections.

Matthew Yates offers us a photographic interpretation of the dark family album hidden in the basement. Yates describes his work as “ a dusty archive of mysterious people, the record of events long forgotten - perhaps intentionally.” Shot with unusual techniques and film, including the unpredictable and imprecise Type-55 Polaroid film, the images Yates presents are dreamlike, at times nightmarish. The equivocal nature of the images reflect their intrinsic, mysterious beauty. Matthew Yates was born in Long Beach, California and lives and works in Tucson, Arizona. He holds a BFA in Fine Art Photography from the Kansas City Art Institute, in Kansas City, Missouri, and has exhibited his works extensively both nationally and internationally. Yates is the recipient of several honors and awards, including selection for 2007 PhotoEspaña’s Descubrimientos, Best in Show for the New Orleans Photo Alliance Toy Camera Show in 2008, and a prestigious Artist Residency with fellow artist Rosanna Salonia, at the Petrified Forest National Park in October 2008.

High resolution Images available upon request
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