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OVER A QUARTER CENTURY OF DEDICATION TO PROTECTING, PRESERVING AND PROMOTING EROTIC ART.
March 9 - May 18, 2013
St. Louis, MO

phd
presents:

Waterworld
Ed Freeman's Prints and Michelle Hamilton's Glass

Opening Reception: Saturday, March 9, 2013, 7:00 - 10:00 PM

Serene. Hypnotic. Otherworldly. Like swimmers in an enchanted bay, the graceful bathers in Ed Freeman's photographs appear more mermaid than human. Michelle Hamilton's glass bowls are multi-colored Sea Anemones and Medusas whose delicate radial tendrils float upwards as if underwater. The juxtaposition between Freeman's photographs and Hamilton's glass is like a twilight skinny dip in Hanalei.

Twenty-four of Freeman's digital prints and eighteen of Hamiliton's glass vessels are on view

***

Ed Freeman can't swim. He nonetheless dons goggles and straps on a twenty pound weight belt before plunging into the deep end of a Los Angeles pool, underwater camera in hand. The models, as many as nine at a time, take a deep breath and dive down. There are no snorkels or oxygen tanks, and no artificial lights; just a bunch of committed, open-minded individuals, some of whom happen to be very strong swimmers. This is fortunate for the photographer, who occasionally has to be rescued.

After the shoot comes the protracted task of computer retouching the photographs. Underwater photography produces notoriously low quality images that require hours of optimization.

Besides using the computer for repair, Freeman uses it creatively: Bodies are removed or added, repositioned and bent. Sometimes the same person appears three times in the same picture. The artists asserts:

"I'm not a journalist and these aren't documentary pictures. They're about the freedom and sensuality of being suspended in a weightless environment. We all have a profound connection to this primordial state; I've tried to capture some of that feeling in these images."

Michelle Hamilton uses glass to investigate the radial symmetry found in Sea Anemone, aquatic Medusa, and Sea Fans. Chards of glass are fused together in a web-like pattern and the molten "web" is slumped into a concave shape to form a bowl-like vessel. Of particular interest to the artist is the formation of shadows and negative space created by the layering of multiple vessels, which are stacked and balanced on top of one another. She uses translucent and opaque colors to create additional loft and depth, celebrating the alluring draw of glass. Sand blasted finishes create the illusion of a new material that renders surfaces softer appearing and more skin-like. Transparent foundations and pillars create the illusion of floating off the table like the umbrella shaped body of a Medusa.

"My pieces are an investigation of the balance between a vessel that holds a commodity and a vessel that holds a story." ~Michelle Hamilton

More about the artists on the phd website.

phd
Gallery Hours: Thursday - Sunday, Noon to 4:00 PM or by appointment.
2300 Cherokee Street, Saint Louis, MO 63118  Map 
314.664.6644
phd Website

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MALE MUSE
"Whenever I was depressed or disgusted, I would feel him, that spirit inside, urging me back to living, back to drawing, I believe there is a lot to the world that can’t be seen or touched, and if you turn away from that — especially if you are an artist — you are avoiding an important part of life, maybe the very heart of it.” — Tom of Finland