Christopher Beane is a unique photographer. No one has created such a large body of work with such a variety and inventiveness, or at such a high level of quality, by such a young age. One has to look back to Edward Steichen, one of the fathers of modern photography in America, to find someone who accomplished anything of like importance. Within our time, the only photographer of comparable stature was perhaps Robert Mapplethorpe.
Jim Kempner Fine Art is very pleased to announce Orchids, Orgies and Marbles, the first solo exhibition for photographer Christopher Beane. Curated by gallery director Dru Arstark, the show includes a number of large-scale color photographs from his Orgy, Camouflage and new Ribbons series, along with unique “marble” paintings. The exhibition will be on display March 7th through April 13th. The artist will be present at the opening reception on Thursday March 7th from 6-8 pm.
A Rhode Island School of Design graduate in photography specializing in portraiture, Christopher Beane came to New York in the mid-1990s. To support himself, he got a job working in the Flower District, thus beginning his love affair with flowers. Calla Lily with Fiddleheads, 1995-96, demonstrates early experiments in black and white photography. These experiments were instrumental to deconstructing and inventing a new species of flower photography.
In 1997 black and white gave way to color with Beane’s first Orgy series, which besides suggesting an obvious sexual interpretation, references a visual “orgy” of color, shape and texture. Using a large format camera and long focal lens, Beane gets close and deep into flowers without losing detail or clarity. Viewers are invited to navigate mazes of gleaming metallic ribbons in his new Ribbons series as well as experience the silky, smooth petals, tumbling together in Tulip Orgies.
Currently working with mixed media, Beane is using surprising materials to create colorful and whimsical imagery. Using a technique of his own devising, Beane submerges his enamel nail polish “marble” paintings in water to serve as backgrounds for flowers floating on the surface. Beane’s Camouflage paintings are largely influenced by Andy Warhol’s camouflage self-portraits and pop art paintings. Wunderbar demonstrates the irresistible lushness and intense saturation Beane achieves with this technique. In 2003, he began to use Murano glass for the same purpose – not to disguise the large orchids and similar flowers, but rather enhance their visual impact.
Christopher Beane’s photographs have been showcased at the 10th Anniversary of the Andy Warhol Museum in 2004 and the ACRIA Foundation. Beane has also collaborated with Etro Spa, Chanel, Conde Nast and Bergdorf Goodman. Christopher Beane’s work is in the collections of Sharon Osbourne, Jennifer and Bob Diamond, Catherine Zeta Jones and Michael Douglas and Eric Cohler.
For more information please contact Dru Arstark or Sarah Bielicky.
-Anthony F Janson, Beane Flowers