~JEFFREY SHAGAWAT . . ‘SELFIE’ / F+V
JEFFREY SHAGAWAT, ‘SELFIE’
the opening reception took place THURS DEC 18, 2014 / 6-9 PM
the show runs thru JAN 10, 2015
FREIGHT+VOLUME – 530 WEST 24th ST, Chelsea, NYC
INTENSE, is not the . . . word.
complicated, mysterious, shifting, searching, intense, and ultimately: life-affirming . . .
the photographic complexity of JEFFREY SHAGAWAT’S world – moves in, and out of . . FOCUS.
A REVIEW . . & PIX – FROM THE EQUALLY INTENSE OPENING !!
if she looks a little familiar – that just might be because she is !!
her pretty face, albeit with long Native American braids, colorful beads and a deer skin dress . . can be found several feet high on billboards all over the city right now.
MIZOU plays SACAGAWEA in . . NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM.
funny how SHAGAWAT and SACAGAWEA .. rhyme.
SACAGAWEA translates as ‘Bird’ and ‘Woman’ which apart from making her Birdwoman, in a season of ‘Birdman’ !! totally captures Mizou as she comes off in person: kind, brave, strong, very very graceful, with much inner poise, and one senses, also of soaring spirit. Sacagawea was the only female Native American scout on the legendary Lewis and Clark expedition, where she was termed: ‘calmness under duress’ – and she played a key and measured role even though she was barely 17. we got the feeling this might also relate to Mizuo on a personal level, though you do also get a little feeling there might also be some passionate ‘wildness’ going on behind that calm exterior, esp as one is told she is in many of Jeffrey’s photographs, and they can get . . well, racy. flirty. flinty ?
I mean, what’s the point of running into Sacagawea, if you can’t run with it ?!!
PATRICK GALLAGHER with MIZOU PECK . . at the JEFFREY SHAGAWAT opening.
Mr. Gallagher plays ATTILA THE HUN, mighty ruler of the fierce nomadic tribes, known as “barbarians to the Romans”, bye the way – in BEN STILLER’S . . NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM.
the show had a fierce side, too. both sides of the coin, gentle and fierce. definitely multi-layered.
strangely, Sherri, was the name of the night.
JOHNNY ‘KIELBASA’, JEN SHAGAWAT, Jeffrey’s older sis, and DALE BOOKOUT.
JEN SHAGAWAT also looked to be of a very strong and colorful, complex personality, when I asked her what she did, she rather strikingly told me, in bold letters, that he was ‘LOST’ – !!
wow, I thought that was the best single response I had heard in many a year. that single word, uttered so forthrightly seemed to really capture, how we all feel – no matter really what you do or how you define yourself, or even how structured your life might be. the world we live in – is just so so beyond anyone’s control.
the prints themselves are beautiful products, no doubt about it.
from the press release: “SHAGAWAT employs a mixture of techniques, such as silver-tone, expired film, multiple exposures, and various cross processes – to achieve his singular vision . . . New Jersey-born Shagawat lives and works in New York City. He studied photography at the New School, where he developed an eye for portraiture and urban landscapes. Using vintage cameras, hand-printed processing and film, Shagawat eschews digital manipulation in favor of the traditional analog approach.”
“SHAGAWAT’S photographic tableaux includes friends and hired models, street denizens and family. In addition, the artist chose to document his struggle with brain cancer a few years ago. Having successfully come out of that nightmare with just a few scars, physical and mental, Shagawat looks at life’s moments as something to be taken in, captured.”
“When I look at my photographs I see myself and what my life was like in that moment, regardless of who or what is in the frame.”
to read more, and esp to see the photographs, without the ambient ‘noise’ and glare of the exhibition space . .
go to: JEFFREY SHAGAWAT, ‘SELFIE’/F+V
JEFFREY SHAGAWAT, ‘(Portrait) Seizure’, 2013.
LUBA SHAGAWAT points to a more mysterious side of the artist’s . . work.
life. life force. journey. search. watching. moving in and out of focus, with eloquence, and often playing with . . well, fire.
ANASTASIA YUFEROVA . .
JEFFREY SHAGAWAT, ‘(Portrait) Eyes’, 2012. Photograph, 20 x 24 in.
for sure . . that’s a lot of ‘pop’, as in drama, color, and print quality – for the punch / $$$.
it also expresses the range in the work, some like this one have great . . heat.
while others, interestingly many on the more exotic themes, skewed . . steely, sharp . . and even, cold.
the inert ‘reality’ of standard conceptions of photography – was really manipulated.
often very theatrically.
a key image, and a very graphic one, that also manages to tell quite a story. with a beautiful, mysterious composition, to boot. and in this case, heat of emotion meets coldness of observation, and both . . both win. pressing up against each other in a strong-armed . . tie.
CANDIDO GONZALEZ and ENID HUNT in front of the JEFFREY SHAGAWAT photo, ‘(Self Portrait) Multi-legs’, 2009 . . . their on-point on-the-street-now, graphic urban style helps point out, those afore-mentioned forces at play here: namely, contrast. in and out of focus, graphic vs lost or mysterious, ambiguous narratives, heat/cold, depth of the artist’s approach, and ultimately, his: s-e-a-r-c-h.
another key image in story, this is the full image from the photo above.
everything changes, in this photo – with the aspect, the inclusion, the compositional and thematic focal point of an actual self portrait.
selfie, on fire.
DEZ and SHERRI . . another look, because turns out DEZ also has a claim to fame. He is an aspiring model, and yes he was just featured, talking about photographers, naked of course . . in RYAN McGINLEY’S recent show at TEAM.
and I guess we’d be saying goodbye to a fascinating night, getting a little rare in Chelsea these days, at this point – except, the show had a surprise ending, and a very relevant one at that – talking . . culture buzz !!
namely, ‘BIG HEADS’, as in typical touristy caricature ‘portrait’ street art, I guess technically a kind of ‘selfie’ in it’sown right ?
vs ‘BIG EYES’ – yep, the amazing and twisty ‘KEANE’ story as told by TIM BURTON – and now showing in NYC in a limited release.
and yes, I did see it !!
but it’s going to be hard to write about. the story is fascinating but the filmmaking is not.
is probably . . the best way to say it.
how fun. sure enough, in the backroom, as a kind of postscript . . come to LIFE !!
JEFFREY SHAGAWAT presents some startling, straight-on photographs of ‘self-portraits’ . . he had commissioned of average anonymous New York City street artists of . . HIMSELF.
hmm, a selfie of a selfie of yourself ?!! they were great, how they caught different aspects or times of his strolls through the city . . in the slightly various styles, but all with with typically big-headed, big featured expressions.
so, between running into BEN STILLER, SACAGAWEA, not to forget ATTILA THE HUN, the style-happy street kids of the moment, and some big ole ‘BIG EYES’ !! right spot-on, on the week’s cultural thermometer, not to forget, some really great, super complex / intense art, asking the deep questions, with some real ‘flirting’ thrown in for good measure – I’d say that was quite some night . . at a gallery, or what !!
just the way they used to be, the real fun gallery openings . . not too long ago.
PHOTOS: NANCY SMITH – UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.