A new show at Fahey/Klein Gallery in Los Angeles presents the work of four artists working with color photography, pushing darkroom and digital processes to explore new territory. “Young Blood,” on view until April 8, includes work by Brendan Pattengale, Chad Pitman, Torkil Gudnason and the duo of Nicholas Alan Cope and Dustin Edward Arnold. Their work fits broadly into traditional genres—Pattengale photographs the landscape, and the others work with some variation of still life, from hotly colored or murky flowers to painterly studies of aging fruit. But each investigates their subjects and materials in new ways. Pattengale travels widely, “on a maniacal quest searching for natural color that exists on our planet,” as he told a recent interviewer, coming home with flattened, vivid abstractions from Bolivia or Iceland. Torkil Gudnason’s “Electric Blossoms” are neon flower studies constructed in the studio, exaggerating with lighting the colors that already exist in the plants. A photographer and an art director respectively, Nicholas Cope and Dustin Arnold made their romantic looking still lifes by exposing flowers to “household chemicals you shouldn’t really mix together,” Arnold told an interviewer. The results are “a very New World thing combined with an Old World thing like paintings of flower arrangements.” Chad Pitman’s series “COLOR & FIGURES” also brings a painterly sensation to studies of decomposing lemons and pears photographed over the course of a year. Set on lividly colored backgrounds, Pitman’s palette suggests decay as strongly the rotting fruits. As he writes in a statement, “My camera, here, is merely the form of documentation while the fruit starts to become the negative, holding time and light in its skin for us to see.”
On Saturday, March 18, Dustin Arnold, Brendan Pattengale and Chad Pitman will talk about their work in the gallery.