Jorge Figueroa, one of the Haverford artists chosen for the People’s Biennial who takes incredible ethnographic photographs, has just had a show open at the People’s Gallery in San Francisco. But what is the People’s Gallery you ask?
The People’s Gallery is where a select group of those chosen for the People’s Biennial are given the opportunity to have a professional individual show. It’s a big deal, not only because it’s exposing Jorge’s work to a vast group of people but also because it provides a new opportunity to contextualize his work completely differently than when it tours with the Biennial. After all, the Biennial is all about taking work to cities that are usually not considered among major art centers, places like Winston-Salem, North Carolina and Rapid City, South Dakota. Within those cities, the art goes to relatively modest locales, such as our suburban Pennsylvania campus gallery or the old Washington High School in Portland. As 20 artists are featured in the show, Jorge’s work is contextualized as being one of many talented people, creating great art in unconventional ways and unusual places. And that’s great-it’s what the Biennial was designed to do.
However, there’s something to be said for shifting the focus and context and giving Jorge’s work a place to shine. After 40 years of photographing people, places, and moments, here comes Jorge to a blossoming young gallery in a major city, and his work is not there as part of a group show but as an individual centerpiece.
Here’s hoping the city by the bay falls as in love with his silver gelatin prints as we have at the Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery. Congratulations Jorge!
In other big news, you can preorder the People’s Biennial book, People’s Biennial 2010, online from both Amazon and Barnes and Noble! Co-Curators Jens Hoffman and Harrell Fletcher provide you with the inside scoop on the curatorial visits and the ideas behind the show. With forwards by Kate Fowle, Executive Director of Independent Curators International, and Renaud Proch, the Deputy Director, the book boasts 136 pages of “celebration of the unknown, the peculiar and the disregarded” (from the Amazon.com product description). I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy as soon as it’s available on August 31.