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Benjamin Donaldson :: images | statement | bio | press release   | press mentions  



press release :: Benjamin Donaldson | Summerland

NEW YORK, NY - jen bekman is pleased to present Summerland, an exhibition of new work by photographer Benjamin Donaldson. The exhibition will be on view from March 16 April 21, 2007, at jen bekman, located at 6 Spring Street, between Elizabeth and Bowery, New York, 10012.

Summerland is a series of portraits documenting the subject within a hypnotic state wherein they are instructed to experience "the most beautiful landscape imaginable."

Jen Bekman will host an opening reception for the artist on Friday, March 16, from 6:00 8:00pm at the gallery.

This is Benjamin's second solo show at jen bekman, following his 2004 exhibition Mouth of the Hudson. The portraits in Summerland expose the complex separation between subject and viewer, and even more broadly, "the conundrum of never truly knowing what is held within another's mind."

Donaldson says of Summerland, "I am interested in the expressions that people have while in this hypnotic state, where they are internally experiencing a sublime vista. I have approached this group of pictures as a typology. In this way, the sameness of the images' form allows the viewer to see the differences in each person's gesture and expression more fully. The subject's vision of immense beauty comes from within the imagination, and that hopefully translates, in some way, to his or her image in the photograph."

Gallery director Jen Bekman remarks, "I'm delighted to be showing Ben's work at the gallery once more and am especially pleased to be showing this series which I've watched develop over the course of several years. The photos in Summerland are fascinating departure from traditional portraiture. With the subject's presence focused elsewhere, their involvement in the photo itself is subverted, exposing a vulnerability and beauty that's unique and captivating."

About the Artist

Benjamin was born in 1969 in Hanover, CT. He graduated from Yale University in 2001 with a Master's Degree in Fine Art. Donaldson's photographs appear frequently in W and Details magazines, as well as Time Magazine, Newsweek, and The New York Times. While this is only his second solo show in New York, his work as had a major presence in New York City and Connecticut, from multiple group shows at ICP to the floor of Sotheby's auctions. He currently teaches at the International Center of Photography, the School of Visual Arts, and Hunter College.

Summerland at jen bekman, 6 Spring Street.
Hours: Wednesday - Saturday, noon 6pm or by private appointment.

For images or more information, please contact Lydia Kenny: 212.219.0166 or press@jenbekman.com.