Erin O´Keefe is a visual artist and architect based in New York City and New Brunswick, Canada. She received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Cornell University and a Master of Architecture from Columbia University.
"I am a visual artist and an architect, and my work is informed by both of these disciplines. My background in architecture is the underpinning for my art practice, providing my first sustained exposure to the issues and questions that I contend with in my photographs. The questions that I ask through my work are about the nature of spatial perception, and the tools that I use are rooted in the abstract, formal language of making that I developed as an architect. As a photographer, I am interested in the layer of distortion and misapprehension introduced by the camera as it translates three dimensional form and space into two dimensional image. This inevitable and often fruitful misalignment is the central issue in my practice."
These photographs examine the interaction of color and light in space, and the way photography alters and transforms these phenomena. In order to explore these relationships, I built a plywood box that I painted and repainted. I used a limited palette of simple colors, altering their sequence in the box, and made a photographic record of each combination. Each image contains two colors and one neutral grey.
The color relationships in the photographs exist exclusively in the photograph – they reference the actual spatial condition, but the translation is entirely a product of the camera.
Things As They Are:
These images are concerned with the actual and observable - things as they are. Light, color, plane and line are used deliberately and concretely, as they are actual things and elements that, mediated by the lens, become something more universal and abstract. In the photographs, shadows and reflections are as palpable as the objects that cast them. I am interested in using the camera to enable a kind of slow seeing that moves these simple still life arrangements into a more ambiguous and open ended spatial condition.
This series of photographs are still life images made in my studio. I am keenly interested in making straightforward studio photography that appears to have been manipulated - using analog means to reference digital effects, and playing with the awareness that our trust in photographic images has been so thoroughly undermined. The title of the series “Natural Disasters” refers to both the external brand of disaster that seems to arrive daily in the news or at our doorstep, and the internal variety – the failure of our eyes to find legibility and coherence in the images we make of the world.
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