A talented group of friends and senior photographers at the Memphis College of Art recently formed a collective they've dubbed The New Memphis Photographers, composed of Elaine Catherine Miller, Yeinier Gonzalez, Amanda Gahan, Jonathan Rogers, Julie Kopel, and Andrew Edwards. The name seemed fitting as the group nailed down the very first, full-fledged gallery exhibition to be held at the Sears Crosstown building, coming up on May 11th.
"We like to think that we are the fresh faces in Memphis photography right now, and want to advertise ourselves as such. In the coming months some of us will be moving up to Chicago, while others may be staying here. We want to keep Memphis in our title to inform where our artistic roots were essentially established while also furthering a positive awareness of the city," says Miller.
The collective's self-titled show, The New Memphis Photographers, will undoubtedly make for a larger scale than Fotocopia, a week-long exhibition at the quaint Adam Shaw Gallery included in the recent Broad Ave. Art Walk, but the small showing was a wonderful reminder of the clean simplicity of thoughtful artistic vision. Each photographer has a noticeably individual style, in both subject and overall composition, yet when you step back and consider the pieces as part of a greater collection, you see how truly complementary the separate sets are; that these artists are all wrangling with the same issues, only on different fronts.
Elaine Miller exposes Americana with a diligence that seems to effortlessly bind modern issue to vintage atmosphere. Julie Kopel explores the uncomfortable implications of sadomasochism with a delicacy that somehow fully articulates the beauty of the feminine body. Andrew Edwards creates dark, layered depths that further clarify his photographs rather than drown out the image in shadow. And Yeinier Gonzalez brilliantly documents a quite personal basis of culture and family in Cuba.
"I feel like we each bring something new to the field and I really enjoy exhibiting with them," says Gonzalez.