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  • 3


    Complete archive, 1999-present


      Kevin at Amy's in Pamela Crimmins
       Courtesy of Littlejohn Contemporary
      Kevin at Amy's
    'Sub' culture

    In "Dream Houses" Pamela Crimmins takes her camera underwater and shoots up, using H2O as a theatric partner with a psychedelic bent.


    Shooting up through water, Pamela Crimmins captures familiar scenes with a new twist. A lot of twist, in fact, as the images evoke a fun house mirror. The artist manages to anthropomorphize the water, making it seem by turns lyrical, anticipatory and disarmingly goofy.

    Homes are the predominate subject matter in this new show of digital c-prints manipulated in Photoshop. The recognizable shapes are given ample room to melt and smear as the water refracts them into carnivals. In Rider the fabulous moving black and whites of the house seem to frolic, zebras banded on top by the cerulean sky and on the bottom by a dark and foreboding foreground. The pointed roof punches up on the left and on the right like tipsy tent tops. Bars turn into a semi-maelstrom of cool contrasts. Square windows become cartoon eyes caught in a second that speaks of endless shimmering... of the infinite permutations and boundless mystery of water.

    Exhibition: Dream House.
    Works by: Pamela Crimmins.
    April 28 - May 26, 2005
    Opening reception: May 5, 2005, 5:30-7:30

    Gallery: Littlejohn Contemporary
    41 East 57th St.
    New York NY
    Hours: Tuesday through Saturday, 10:00 am until 5:30 pm
    Phone: (212) 980-2323

    In Fence the distortion is minimalized and the strong composition is heightened, invoking Impressionism. Again a house stretches across the picture plane sandwiched between the sky and the earth. Deep shadows cut into white walls, breaking up the strong horizontals. A nostalgic beauty is reinforced by the security implied in the subject matter: a domicile.

    Traversing the tableaux, a picket fence quavers. Behind it a person is discernible looking discretely at the camera (the viewer). Crimmins is the mother of two and her daughters are often included. In Tower the teeny person peering down at 'us' from the top seems almost an afterthought, some enchanting notion that is so ethereal it carries us away.

      Tower in Pamela Crimmins
       Courtesy of Littlejohn Contemporary
    Sometimes the water really takes over, creating hybrid ensembles of iridescent rainbows or gesticulating moirs that defy geometry. Other photographers have used distorting techniques that produce kaleidoscopic effects such as Ira Cohen. And Crimmins obviously delights in the rambunctious ramifications of her media. She also invests the pieces with symbolic weight and aesthetic taste.

    The girth and substance of two large houses evinces a culture so engulfed by consumerism that is hollow at the core. While the water still 'plays' on the image, the mood ceases to be playful. Whether Crimmins is trying to aggrandize 'down home' living, barb the upper crust or explore visual possibilities, it doesn't quite carry these twin behemoths. One of them would have been enough in my humble opinion.

    The artist manages to anthropomorphize the water, making it seem by turns lyrical, anticipatory and disarmingly goofy.  

    Moving the human form into 'focus' presents Crimmins with another direction: portraiture. The four pictures of her daughters are very intriguing and call into action the peculiar vantage of the artist being below the subject. This disjunctive distancing is further echoed by the palpable sensation of being separated from the subject by the surface of the water. The surface of the work itself is thus transmuted into something new and completely unfamiliar. Here Crimmins breaks new ground and provides a psychological lens to her substantial oeuvre.

    MAY 18, 2005

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  • painting   from diane watters, Jan 31, 2007

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