Wednesday, January 30, 2008

erin mcelroy

if you're incredibly lucky, like i clearly am, then the smallest circle in the concentric ripples of inspiration that surround you, is your home. maybe if you've done something good in a past life it's right down the hall or maybe you even share a garage studio and a bathroom darkroom and run a humble gallery project together. oh yes folks, i start my search for stimulus and amazement in the breast pocket of my t-shirt, close to my heart, and there's erin. and she's not just my first feature because she's near and dear, she's brilliant and she works hard for the money.

erin mcelroy is a photographer and a painter and a photographer/painter although she's up to her elbows in a handful of other things as well. Her work is a something of a merger between personal relationships and cosmic occurences, the geometry of the manmade and the soft folds of the organic, the history of wood and found object canvas and the new breath of image and paint, and a dense, structural black with a soft dreamlike color palette. The following is her own statement which I stole off of her website: She also has an opening tomorrow night at City Art Gallery on Valencia in the Mission if you're in SF.

“Decision, the moment of saying yes, is prompted by something deeper; recognition.” – Jeanette Winterson, Weight

What triggers the release of my camera’s shutter is barely based upon the isolated moment that my subject exists in; it based upon something much older, something that has already occurred,something already vaguely recognized through my own eyes. They say that we only dream about things that we have already allowed into our brains, and in this way my photographs are snapshots of flickering collective memoir. As I go about my daily life, chance-sightings whispering bells of familiarity occur. Sometimes it’s the desperate look in a stranger’s eyes; sometimes it’s the angle between a blade of grass and a friend’s shoe, but either way, it’s familiar. Whether I print the photograph directly or I go on to work through it as a photo-transfer painting, my own processing of the subject’s familiarity surfaces first and foremost. -Erin McElroy