April 13, 2003

Sign Language by Viggo Mortensen (text by Kevin Power)

More Viggo connections. This is the catalog that accompanied an exhibition of his photographs and paintings in 2002. The introductory text by Kevin Power is kind of amusing in a let's-talk-about-art-like-it's-intrinsically-ultimately-profound way, but the images themselves are interesting enough to make up for it. Mortensen's photographs are daily snapshots with a painterly eye to composition and salvaging evocative images out of shots that as representative photographs seem like complete failures. Many of the photos seem to have been doctored in post-production with scratches and flares and radical exposure effects that didn't really do anything for me, but when he can bring himself to just present an image on its own, the result is worth looking at. The paintings are more interesting. Most are palimpsests of paint and image and random squiggles and written words that come out looking like snapshots of brain states. This book and Mortensen's other books are available from his own Perceval Press.

Posted by jeffy at April 13, 2003 10:38 PM