Photographers encapsulates the magnificence and reality of humanity that is perceived, yet few utilize themselves to express ideals in the fashion or perfection of Rodney Graham. His works have achieved the Gershon Iskowitz Prize among an array of prestigious recognitions (Lisson Gallery). While Graham experiments with dynamic and direct styles, he frequently fancies incorporating extreme subtlety in his works such as the “Drywaller” (Lisson Gallery), where the message subtlety is in such an extraordinary degree that it has been undiscussed. Collector Daily, merely remarks that the photograph illustrates a “portrait of a non-artist as an aging man”, and is Graham’s channel to tease his old age. Wall Street Magazine differs as they interprets the piece as Graham’s method to portray his fascination of the elements of drywall and its connection to abstract art. Supplementing the sombre theme, Canadian Art implies it demonstrates the theme of reflection, with an elderly figure completing manual labor, an occupation typically associated with the youth. While their analysis could be argued to be valid as is the beauty of art, they are all unsuccessful in considering all aspects of the photograph, creating an explanation that only gazes the surface without delving into the vast world below that explores the theme of perception. It is abundantly clear that this photograph represents a portrayal of individual contribution to society and the properties this epiphany has on human beings by accumulating the reasoning behind the backgrounds, the significance of the objects, and the choice of the model actions,
While it may be unusual to instigate from the backgrounds, it generates a strong conception foundation to comp...
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...where it is compelled to prevaricate to itself to interdict a calamitous fate.
To delineate such an abstruse and perplexing theme in one sole photograph demonstrates Rodney Graham’s masterful comprehension on photography. Subsequent to the removal of the preliminary mask, it is profoundly evident that the “Drywaller” symbolizes the motif of personal inputs to civilization and the consequences of obtaining this knowledge. The diverse interpretations have only perceived the initial layer of concepts intended to captivate audiences and overlooks the concealed intricate message and are considered deficient. This layer of innocence cloaking elaborate meanings is prevalent in a great deal of Graham’s work, and merits supplementary research and exploration as the world has yet to fully acknowledge his gifted craftsmanship expressing his inventiveness outlook on humankind.
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