Dear Diane, Dear Shaded Viewers,
I met the talented young NY-based photographer Callie Barlow last year through a few different circles of mutual friends in the fashion world. When we began talking about art, and I asked her about her own projects, she told me about the body of work that will now be on display today and tonight at the Mondrian Soho. I was quite intrigued by her dedication to the project, as you can read about below.
If you are in NY, I suggest checking this out.
Mondrian Soho is hosting photographer Callie Barlow's first solo exhibition, titled A Private View. This exhibition includes digital c-prints of a female dancer. These environmental portraits are explorations of the alternate personas known as "stage names" that are created by the dancers for the gentlemen's club.
Barlow began working at a gentlemen's club on the upper east side of Manhattan in 2009 as a cashier in order to observe the environment and familiarize herself with the dancers. The theatrics of the club environment including the performance of transformation from every day girl to entertainer fascinated Barlow. Evening gowns donned by dancers became an object of obsession in their blatant contradiction that embodies the fantasy of the voyeur in that particular setting. The separation of girl and entertainer becomes manifested in one word; in a name that may make a dancer appear more exotic, project an idealized version of oneself, heighten an ethnicity, move up in social class, decrease intelligence, and so on.
The project began with one entertainer named Alexis, upon a chance meeting in the ladies room, a safe area in the gentlemen's club where girls unload, exchange, and recharge. The photographs are portraits of Jazmen in costume as Alexis the dancer in her home environment. In this intimate setting, Alexis the dancer and Jazmen the girl meet and engage in a conversation with the photographer that brings about questions of performance, female sexuality, power, and moments of reflection.
Callie Barlow lives in Brooklyn, New York. She received her BFA From Parsons School of Design. Her work has been exhibited in a group show in the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia in 2010.
A Private View
Jan 10 2012
Mondrian Soho – 9 Crosby St – Penthouse 2
viewing beginning at 12 pm / reception to follow 8 – midnight
RSVP - email@example.com