Wednesday, January 9, 2008
Ron Diorio's "Around Here" opens in Chelsea
"Walk home," Ron Diorio, All rights reserved
Ron Diorio resists labels. He’s a photographer -- but not exactly. He makes pictures of people, places & things in the world –- but not exactly. So what is he? Maybe he’s a painter. Perhaps he’s a translator. Or a storyteller. One thing I know -- & you should check this out yourself at Ron’s first solo New York show, opening tomorrow night (1/10) from 7-9pm at Peter Hay Halpert Fine Art –he’s an artist of uncommon originality & rich feeling.
I knew Ron first as av_producer at fotolog.com and then at flickr.com. Later we became friends when we served together on the board at Brooklyn's Positive Focus organization. It amazed me that we both expressed passionate, almost diametrically opposite political views but were able to be, not just civil, but actually gracious about it (this hasn’t happened to me very often). It may have helped that both of us -- unlike so many shooters -- love to talk & write about photography. Or, in Ron's case, about a new photographic-pixel-based art form he has invented.
"Cornered," Ron Diorio, All rights reserved
Ron writes: “Photography appropriates the world. I present an imagined context. Ambiguity and anxiety from outside the border of the image is an editing choice. Photographers want to be something else -- a witness, too often a witness that can't be cross examined. If anything I am trying to explore the lies we tell ourselves. Or at least the lies I tell myself. I will tell my own stories. I am not interested in telling the story of others.”
Here’s the little I know about Ron’s method. He uses a variety of small low-rez digital cameras to make at least 100 images every day. He calls this process “harvesting” and tends to downplay it. I’ve never gone shooting with him, but a friend who did told me that, when they were finished, Ron had shot dozens of pictures my friend hadn’t even known about. In any case, however he records them, these catches or “captures” are rich with gesture, brimming with story.
Ron writes that what he’s doing is “…generating photo references. It is not about mega-pixels although it very much about the pixel. It has to do with how the images come out and the way I interact or more correctly don't interact with the people in the pictures.”
"Independence Day," Ron Diorio, All rights reserved
He may not look at the images for weeks or months. When he first sees them on the computer screen, he writes, “I am in a different place literally and figuratively. It allows my imagination to work more freely on the reality of what was captured.” This is when he creates the art work from the raw materials of what he has brought in from the streets. “So the use of photography is different,” he writes. “It is not the decisive moment frozen. It is a more measured purposeful encounter -- the creation of the physical object. This is what I consider to be the ‘art.’ The screen image or the photographic print is the object, the document of my process where the image becomes an image of itself. An event takes place but the viewer doesn't experience that. They experience the idea of that.”
The exhibition, “Around Here,” opens from 7-9 pm & runs January 10 - February 23, 2008.
Here's more info on the gallery:
Peter Hay Halpert Fine Art, NYC
511 West 25th Street
NY NY 10001
(646) 827 9890