Jen Bekman Photograher of the Month: Beth Dow


Image credit: Trojan Horse by Beth Dow

Twice a month, Sara Distin from Jen Bekman Projects, Inc. contributes a post about an artist or photographer. Jen Bekman Projects, Inc. includes Jen Bekman Gallery, 20×200 and Hey, Hot Shot! (If you’re an emerging photographer, visit Hey, Hot Shot! Competition is open.)

Photographer Beth Dow makes deceptively serene and stunning platinum-palladium prints. The luscious and smooth tonal quality of her works is so pleasing that it often takes a second to realize exactly what is awry in her imagery. Her earlier series, In the Garden and Fieldwork, respectively examine the bizarre but beautiful and tragic manifestations of human interaction in distinctively English and American landscapes. In Ruins, she continues her study of the American landscape but instead highlights the built environment and the strange prevalence of faux Classical ruins in Midwestern suburbs.

With keen attention to the work of 19th century photographers Giorgio Sommer, Francis Frith and Felix Bonfils, and a devotion to a traditional process, Dow’s new work culminates in a provocative marriage of form and content that challenges ideas of authenticity, nostalgia, and the particularly American tendency to appropriate history. In spite of her sophisticated approach to both process and subject, the work is accessible. And, the prints are incredibly gorgeous! This is a not-to-miss exhibition. Ruins is on view at Jen Bekman Gallery at 6 Sring Street in NYC until Saturday, May 16th. If you won’t be in the city, or if you’d like to take a little bit of of Beth’s work home with you but her platinum-palladium prints are just out of reach, you can get your Beth Dow fix at 20×200.