by Jeff Bark
This American born Photographer caught our attention last month at the Nicholas Metivier Gallery while we were diligently doing our research (thats code for being very hung over and wandering around galleries while trying not to knock art off the walls....beans, you know you have been there).
His stunningly poetic works captured our attention right away, and not just because there was a huge naked man in the first one we saw. At first, we weren't really sure if we were looking at a photograph or a painting, or some weird bastard child of the two mediums. The images have a surreal otherworldly feel to them, leaving you wondering how he transported himself to this amazing mystic land to photograph these images, and managed to make it back in time for his gallery opening. There is a luminous dream like quality to the light in his work and the subjects are often ominous and intriguing. There are undercurrents of themes tied to troubled adolescence, human vulnerability, and the physical and emotional decay of consumerism. Its not until you emerge yourself deeper into the photos that you realize the subjects are captured in a perversely mysterious action, exposing themselves to you and driving you deeper into mystery.
Jeff Bark is currently represented by three Galleries. The Charles Cowles Gallery in NY, the Michael Hoppen Gallery in London, and the Nicolas Metivier Gallery here in Toronto, where he had his most recent show. Quite impressive we do have to say, for an artist who has only been on the scene for a couple of years. The show here in Toronto ran in collaboration with the NY gallery show, and later this fall, the London gallery will be showing his work.