Living Portraits: Featuring the work of Jon Goldman and Robin Radin
Boston Convention & Exhibition Center
Exhibition: February 9 - July 22, 2019
Reception: February 20, 2019 6-8pm
Neighborhoods and villages are technically defined by geographic borders, but socially they are attributed with personas that have communal and political significance. They can change and evolve over time, but ultimately are tied to the history and implications of their location. Both of the artists in this exhibition employ their work as a means of documenting, celebrating, and asking questions about the geographic communities they are embedded in. From his family's long history there to his current work to revitalize the Buckminster Fuller dome, the village of Woods Hole on Cape Cod is integral to both Jon Goldman’s work and life. Robin Radin moved to the Jamaica Plain neighborhood in Boston becoming embedded in its community over 40 years ago and has been photographing its people and landscapes ever since. Looking deeply at a single neighborhood or village can provide a new perspective on the bonds, tensions, and value inherent in how communities of people form and evolve.
Robin Radin’s photographs teeter on the edge between street photography and portraiture. In one image she captures a determined gaze on a young girl’s face surrounded by people, bicycles, and the landscape of the neighborhood. Some photographs emphasize the expression of a single person while others draw primarily on people's interactions with others and their surroundings. Her use of black and white film brings a timeless feeling to the photographs prompting the viewer to find cues such as signage, architecture, and clothing styles to contextualize the people.
In contrast, Jon Goldman’s Village Portrait Project embraces a wide range of vibrant colors and energetic mark making. Each digital painting portrays a single individual captured in Woods Hole. To date he has created almost 300 portraits with the goal of making 780, the number of residents counted on the 2010 census. 90 village portraits are on view in this exhibition and though it’s only a fraction of the total number of residents, it already covers an impressive scope. Each portrait has its own custom background based on Goldman’s interaction with or knowledge of the subject. The sheer number of portraits in this series goes beyond the vital role each person plays in defining a place to create a broad and varied portrait of the community at large. In his own words it is “an almost archival visualization of community as an artistic practice.”
The interaction between the artists and the subject of the works in this exhibition plays a small yet important role in shaping how these communities view themselves. These two distinctly different bodies of work complement one another via their shared exploration and documentation of place and community.
To learn more about the work of Jon Goldman visit http://www.goldmanarts.com/
Above images: Top image: Carlos, Egelston Square Ambassador by Robin Radin
Bottom image: Village Portrait Project by Jon Goldman