Hole in the Curtain
Bruce Silverstein Gallery
October 29 – December 23
Brea Souders: Breaking Ground, 2015
16″ x 20″ archival inkjet print
From the Bruce Silverstein Gallery press release:
Hole in the Curtain, [is] the gallery’s second solo show of new works by Brea Souders. The exhibition is comprised of portraits and abstract compositions that further Souders’ interest in fragmented narratives, the inchoate versus the fully formed, and the uncontrollable nature of time.
Souders creates her latest works with bleach, photographic chemistry and watercolors using unexposed film emulsion as a substrate. Souders writes, “I approach the emulsion as a vulnerable skin, subject to constant transformation. I was drawn to work with it because of this changeable quality.” The bleach and chemistry rapidly degrade the film, and are thus a purposeful incubator of chance occurrences–fissures in emulsion, selective lightening, bored holes, color shifts, and breached borders.
Brea Souders: Jane, 2015
30.4″ x 38″ archival inkjet print
While in process, Souders’ works exist in a state of timed decline that serves as a metaphor for the nature of both our physical bodies and our memories of people and events. At a moment when artists are grappling with our surrender to a digital world, Souders turns her attention to a fundamental aspect of the human experience: how we connect as individuals. Souders’ portraits demonstrate a humorously expressive quality, yet, as with her earlier work, a certain weight is felt in the dark spaces, the various rents in the emulsion that open up to what looks like a wide starry sky.
Brea Souders: Max, 2015
24 x 30 archival inkjet print
Our relationship with Brea Souders goes back her being awarded the 2011 WIP-LTI/Lightside Kodak Materials Grant. Hole in the Curtain, however, is our first time working with her on a specific project. That we had only seven working days to complete sixteen of the pieces on exhibit at the Bruce Silverstein Gallery is a reflection of just how tight Souders’ craft and intent is. The process of producing her final prints was specific, efficient and distinctly satisfying for us — we are quite pleased to have been given the opportunity to be a part of this exhibition.
Brea Souders: Hole in the Curtain
Bruce Silverstein Gallery
You can see more of Souders work on her own website here and on the Bruce Silverstein Gallery here.
Tags: Archival Pigment Printing (Inkjet), Brea Souders, Bruce Silverstein, Exhibitions
Brea Souders, our 2011 WIP-LTI/Lightside Kodak Materials Grant recipient has certainly been chalking up some smart press this past year. Here’s a terrific interview conducted by Kelsey Herman, which, adds another layer of understanding to Souder’s multi-faceted works.
bangstyle.com featured Brea Souders Brooklyn
Posted on May 2nd, 2012 by Kelsey Herman.
Professional photography has taken a turn in the digital age, becoming more instant and deviating from the lengthy process it once was. The inception of smartphones and social media has usurped the art world, as users replace dark rooms with filters and imagination with a hashtag. But like every mainstream trend, there are counteractive movements that, at their core, reject the upload culture that has made traditional photography seem completely archaic. Perusing photo-sharing site Flickr will welcome an endless scroll of photography’s second coming – people who use film and physical cameras, people who still use a darkroom, and people who combine old and new techniques like this week’s featured artist.
Brea Souders doesn’t spontaneously snap away at a subject hoping for a good shot to share instantly with friends. To Souders, photography is a personal and intimate form. “In many of my images, I use materials that I grew up with or that are tied to memory in some way.” The young New York City-based artist has a style that is difficult to pin down. Her images have that high-art, museum quality that is absent in much of the over-processed art world today. Using strategically placed objects, ambiguous settings, and compositions that exist outside of the realm of time, her personal work can only be placed among the avant-garde – a space left to the aesthetically sublime, the strangely ineffable work that cannot be broken down into critique.
Souders’ photography might be the perfect marriage of old and new – rooted in tradition while exploring the digital frontier. Her projects like “Counterforms,” a series that utilizes mixed-mediums, Impressionist pastels, vintage photographs, and digitally enhanced manipulation techniques, prove that there is a place for both in the vast and growing world of aesthetics. We spoke with Souders to discover more about what it is to be a photographer in the 21st century. Read the interview below.
Brea Souders: Modern Day Halo #3
BANGSTYLE: How did you become a photographer?
Brea Souders: Like many people, I signed up for an introductory photography course in high school, and I loved it right away. Having already been interested in psychology, design, and chemistry, I liked that I could incorporate all of these interests into my photographic work. My mother was a painter, and I was fortunate to be surrounded with art as a child. None of this is to say it came easily, and I think the best way to become anything is to work and work and work some more and to ignore the naysayers.
BANGSTYLE: Your work has appeared in huge publications like Vice, New York Magazine, and Vogue Paris. Do you approach commissioned work differently than your personal work?
Brea Souders: I generally have a more light-hearted approach to commissioned work, as I feel less exposed when I’m working on something that isn’t directly about my personal interests. I like the collaborative aspect of assigned work and brainstorming ideas with others. I recently photographed a look book for a fashion label, and their spring collection featured these beautiful fabrics modeled after whale-shark skin and the bright colors seen in tropical flora and fauna. The set was filled with beautiful plants, luscious dragon fruit, and abstract sea life cut-outs. To prepare for the shoot, I spent a lot of time in the picture collection at the New York Public Library researching plants and sea creatures. Even though not all of the ideas that we explored were used in the end, the assignment really got into my head and fed into my personal creative pursuits as well.
BANGSTYLE: What is your technique when photographing? Do you still use a dark room, or have you welcomed the digital age?
Brea Souders: I have a hands-on approach to image making and enjoy working with materials in a studio setting. I like to watch images develop slowly, as you can when working in a darkroom. Maybe this is why I’m drawn to using paint and collage in my work, building up an image over time rather than snapping it in an instant. The final images are adjusted digitally and are then printed on Photo Rag paper.
BANGSTYLE: Your recent work seems to deviate from your earlier work in terms of color and composition. In earlier work, you used stark colors and stationary objects, and in your new work, there seems to be more movement and emotion. Can you pinpoint a feeling or an emotion that resulted in your latest photos?
Brea Souders: My recent work is more personal in nature, while in “Islands and Streams,” I look outward and depict dream fragments taken from the journals of well-known writers, scientists, philosophers, and others. “Counterforms” was inspired by a desire to connect with my mixed European ancestry and is a study of the self in relation to geography, history, and time. This has been a period in my life where I feel I’m growing more than usual, absorbing more, and expanding my perspective. I believe that the luminous color and sense of motion you mentioned reflects these feelings.
BANGSTYLE: There seems to be themes of life and death in your work, especially in your more recent series. Are these subjects that you attempt to explore in your photographs? What are other themes that you explore?
Brea Souders: My most recent work came after the death of my mother and is also inspired by my studies in hypnosis and the unconscious. In many of my images, I use materials that I grew up with or that are tied to memory in some way. I’m interested in the idea of harsh light illuminating things only to make them more confusing, uncertain, mysterious.
Brea Souders: French Bed and Moon
BANGSTYLE: You photograph everything — from people to shells to landscapes. How do you choose your subjects?
Brea Souders: I work with models and materials such as plants, fabric, paint, plaster casts, and magazine/book cut-outs with the goal to create images that are visually as well as psychologically compelling. Many of the objects that I work with have significant meaning in my life. Sometimes it’s the dialogue between elements in one image that interests me; for instance, in the photograph “French Bed and Moon” I was trying to fix two separate places and moments in time together forever. I like to see what I can pull from any given subject matter and what it pulls out of me.
Brea Souders: Paint Samples
BANGSTYLE: Some of your images seem to channel the surrealists. I’m referring specifically to the “Constellation” series. Where did you draw influence for these photographs?
Brea Souders: In these photographs, I’ve re-purposed works that I created many years ago to make them relevant to my current life and interests. There were so many things that I made long ago, things that I didn’t relate to anymore, just sitting in my flat files. I had to do something about that. The images were made by collaging my previous photographs together, bending images to create sculptural forms, adding flash or new lighting effects, or manipulating them in other ways. Other images in this series present simple objects that represent a specific time and memory from my past such as in “Paint Samples” and “Rubberband”; I view these as re-purposed works as well.
BANGSTYLE: What music do you bring along with you on a shoot?
Brea Souders: I’m always in the mood to listen to Kate Bush, Air, or Philip Glass. If I’m working alone, I will listen to the same 10 songs in my studio all day as I’ve found it helps me concentrate. This tends to bore other people though; so if I’m working with others, I’ll usually ask them to create a play-list that they like.
BANGSTYLE: Tell us about your life in Brooklyn.
Brea Souders: I love Brooklyn! Ice cream at the Brooklyn Farmacy, after eating Senegalese fried chicken for brunch at a-bistro. I’ll admit that outside of the people here, most of my Brooklyn loves are food-related. On days off, I may go to a Russian spa in Brighton Beach or picnic with a friend in a park or on my rooftop. I live in northern Brooklyn, and my studio is located in my apartment building; so I’m able to get a lot of work done, even in the middle of the night when I tend to still be awake. This part of Brooklyn has a lot going on, art-wise, with upstart galleries popping up all the time, and the annual Bushwick Open Studios is always a nice, informal way to see what people are working on.
BANGSTYLE: What’s next for you in 2012? Do you have any exhibitions that you want Bangstyle readers to know about?
Brea Souders: A few current and upcoming shows:
Exhibition in NYC: The Wild & The Innocent, curated by Jordan Sullivan, Clic Gallery, up now through April 17.
Photography Projection in Los Angeles: Pro’jekt LA: New Research, presented by Month of Photography LA, The Standard Hotel, Hollywood, CA, April 17, from 7- 10pm, curated by Stephanie Gonot
Exhibition/Festival in France: Hyères Festival of Fashion and Photography at the Villa Noailles, April 27 – 30, with the exhibition running until May 27.
Art Fair in NYC: Affordable Art Fair, Uprise Art booth, April 18 – 22.
Tags: Brea Souders
Brea Souders is our 2011 WIP-LTI/Lightside $1000.00 Kodak Materials Grant recipient. The following interview with her is re-posted from the Uprise Art blog. Uprise Art essentially seems to be an art share and/or art ownership club that’s kind of hard to describe … but I’ll give it a shot:
First, you become a member by paying a fee of $50.00. Now, with that fee, you get to request a piece of art (presumably, one you’d like to eventually own) be delivered and installed in your home. And for as long you decide to keep it there and continue to pay the $50.00 per month fee, the accumulated total spent all goes towards its initial sale price. So it’s like getting lay-away that you get to take home anyway … or something like that. Crazy, right?
I’m sure there’s probably more to it … but for that, I give you the link:
February 9, 2012
Brea Souders: Untitled 7, 2010
A Q&A with Uprise artist Brea Souders:
Where are you from and where do you currently reside?
I grew up in Frederick, Maryland, lived in Baltimore for some time, and now live in New York City.
You recently won the 2011 Women in Photography LTI-Lightside Grant; what project will that grant support?
I’m working with various objects in my parents’ home that I grew up with and that have significant meaning in my life – A terrarium full of African violets, giant fossil and shell collections, plaster casts, art and physics books, microscopic slides, and family pictures. The project incorporates collage elements and paint also.
Which of your works include you in the image?
Many of my works include bits and pieces of me – such as Sunburn in Naples, Shell, Frame, Falling Seeds, Under My Thumb and Seine With Fingers.
Do you consider these works self-portraits?
I don’t consider them portraits so much as one element within a larger scene.
Your photographs are very beautifully composed, can you tell us a little about your process?
I am interested in the idea of one thing activating another. There is often a fragility and sense of time passing in my images – seeds are blowing, a snail slithers through a constructed environment, a sunburn eventually fades, picked flowers begin to dry under the hot sun, etc. Or sometimes my own fingers, body or shadow moves into the picture plane, temporarily, like a flutter (as in Seine With Fingers, Under My Thumb and Shell). In French Bed and Moon I was trying to fix two separate moments in time together forever. Butter Plate and Moth was created by coating a piece of glass with butter and placing it in my studio to see what it would attract (there were all sorts of moths, spiders, gnats, and dragonflies in my studio in France). At its heart, my work is based in exploration and discovery. I make sure to allow plenty of time for experimentation and accept that there will be failure along the pathway to success.
What was your inspiration behind the work Untitled 7?
It was inspired by a tender and surprising dream of the Marquis de Sade. The woman in the photograph represents his mother.
Who are some of your favorite artists?
Looking over at my bookshelf, I see monographs by Youssef Nabil, Francesca Woodman, Philip Guston, Jan Saudek, Paul Outerbridge and Yves Klein. Just a few artists that I admire. I’m also inspired by many Medieval paintings and carvings.
You can access the the original post by clicking here
Tags: Brea Souders
Brea Souders: Sunburn in Naples
Our 2011 WIP-LTI/Lightside Kodak Materials grant has been awarded to Brea Souders. The $1,000 grant will support a new series of photographs that examine her European ancestry.
As an American with typically mixed bloodlines, I started this project to explore the many places in Europe where I have ancestry and their influence on me as an artist and a person. I created the very first photograph in this series in Italy in May, 2010, titled Sunburn in Naples. This image encapsulated my feelings – a desire to own my Italian ancestral roots, to be wholly a part of something, but an inability to do so. The Neapolitan sun burned the Irish skin that I inherited from my father’s father. Upon my return home I continued my work, creating images that reflect my research of Christianity, art history, European history, family traditions and my desire to connect all of the pieces together into one unified whole.
I recently completed a long residency in France, where I continued this project with a focus on the experience of living as a foreigner in a place where I have ancestry. The images created in France have taken a looser and more personal turn, with special attention to my own interaction with the French landscape and with objects that I found along the way. The images speak to sudden feelings of freedom, curiosity and transformation, and to a world that became larger, less static and more confounding. The resulting photographs reflect a shift that took place within me as a result of spending time in my ancestral country, France.
French Bed and Moon
Under My Thumb (Heat)
Butter Plate With Moth
Seine With Fingers
About Brea Souders
Brea Souders was born in Frederick, Maryland, and studied photography at the University of Maryland Baltimore County. Her work has been exhibited and screened at institutions such as Abrons Arts Center, Jack the Pelican Presents, and Affirmation Arts in New York City; the Corcoran Gallery of Art and the American University Museum, Washington, D.C; and at festivals including the New York Photo Festival; PhotoIreland in Dublin; the Singapore International Photography Festival, and Head On in Sydney, Australia. Her work has been supported by the Camac Art Centre and Fondation Ténot, Marnay-sur-Seine, France; The Millay Colony of the Arts, Austerlitz, NY and the Camera Club of New York.
Selected publications and clients include: New York Magazine, Gar-de, Vogue Paris, Real Simple, Dear Dave, Canteen, Warner Brothers Records, and Feltrinelli Publishing House. Brea lives and works in New York City.
Tags: 2011 Project Grant Recipients, Brea Souders