Jeff Bark - Photographs London Friday, November 21, 2008 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Acquired directly from the artist

  • Catalogue Essay

    In my Abandon series, I took a modern approach to classic subject matter, adapting the medium of photography to match my vision. I treated each photograph as if it were a Renaissance masterpiece: there was full intent in my use of composition, light and symbolism. The still life images were my first endeavor all built in the same location in Santa Barbara. I constructed a precarious set with every disparate item deliberately selected, placed, and hidden. I moved individual blades of grass, and even placed droplets of milk to create an image that is both evocative and painterly. I treated each piece that followed as if it were also a still ife. Each became about the discovery of hidden objects and the intertwined meanings of sexuality, vulnerability, and disregard – all with a glint of dark humour. Irrevocable moments in time, light and breath. Shot with a large format camera, the long exposure allowed for a combination of play between sharp detail and the soft of elements in the photograph. In the nudes, each person becomes a character reacting to the still life built around them and inspired by them. I intentionally used nonmodels with Rubenesque bodies and full frontal nudity. Gauged by today’s visual language, we are less inclined to understand and be drawn to these things. These photographs implore the viewer to confront and explore as we would a beautiful painting. On first glance, these photographs initially appear to be paintings in which the viewer can find safety. Nothing is by chance. Everything is deliberate. My desire is to flawlessly trick the viewer into believing they’ve caught a glimpse of a visceral human moment, not allowing them to know that everything is set or prop, strategically set.
    Jeff Bark, Exit Magazine, 2008.


Drag from Abandon

Digital colour coupler print.
116.8 x 150.8 cm. (46 x 59 3/8 in).
Signed in ink, printed title and number AP 1/2 on an artist’s label affixed to the reverse of the flush-mount. One froman edition of 8 plus 2 artist’s proofs. Accompanied by a signed Certificate of Authenticity.

£4,000 - 6,000 

Sold for £16,250


22 Nov 2008, 3pm