An hour @ the museum

An hour @ the museum
Skyline (1995) an archival pigment print by photographer Rodney Smith.

SINGAPORE - Surreal Reality by photographer Rodney Smith at Fost Gallery is the American's first solo in Singapore. The acclaimed photographer uses only natural light and shoots primarily on black-and-white film. The 67-year-old learnt under documentary photographer Walker Evans in the early 1970s. He contributes to several publications, including The New York Times. Some of his images have been on the covers of Time magazine. On his Web page, he writes that he is "adamantly analog" in this digital age and "never uses special effects".

Where: Fost Gallery, 01-02, 1 Lock Road, Gillman Barracks When: Till Jan 5, 11am - 7pm (Tue - Sat), 11am - 6pm (Sun). Closed on Mon & public holidays MRT: Labrador Park Admission: Free Info: www.fostgallery.com

Deepika Shetty

1 TWINS IN TREE, SNEDENS, 1999

Landing, New York, archival pigment print

Smith says he is a landscape photographer who puts "people in landscapes". Although his photographs appear perfectly composed, he allows each location to inspire him. Poses and placements are generally done 10 minutes before the actual shot is taken.

2 SKYLINE, 1995

Hudson River, New York, archival pigment print

Smith's photographs capture moments in harmonious symmetry, but these are driven entirely by his intuition about what would make a perfect shot. Since he does not test-shoot on Polaroids, success becomes apparent only in the darkroom. He says he knows his darkroom "like the back of his hand".

3 DON JUMPING OVER HAY ROLL, 1999

Monkton, Maryland, archival pigment print

Smith's images are a nod to classical styles. His models are classic gentlemen in suits and fedoras or women in long gowns or smart dresses finished with perfect heels. His images capture great beauty, even in simple moves such as jumping over a hay roll.

4 MEN WITH BOXES ON HEAD, 2011

Brunswick, Georgia, archival pigment print

He likes to have fun with his subjects too, dressing them up perfectly only to finish their look with boxes on their heads.

5 THREE MEN WITH SHEARS, 1997

No. 1, Reims, France, silver gelatin print

The idea is to draw on simple, everyday settings and lend them a heightened sense of drama in some shots. That is what these three well-dressed men with shears do in this image.

6 QUESTION MARK PICTURE, 1997

Longwood Gardens, Pennsylvania, archival pigment print

Using black and white, he creates quirky pictures too, such as this one, inspired by a question mark.

7 TWINS LEANING OUTWARDS ON DOCK NO. 1, 1997

Sherwood Island, Connecticut, silver gelatin print

Drawing on the power of two, Smith creates this image that shows his keen eye for subject placement and capturing moments even in simple settings.

8 GARY AND HENRY CHASING BUTTERFLY, 1996

Beaufort, South Carolina, silver gelatin print

Another shot that captures the romance of a time gone by - chasing a butterfly. Smith's images are a reminder that a photographer's eye is more important than the technology he chooses to use.


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