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
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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