Sunday, December 12, 2010

Lori Vrba at PhotoNOLA

I had the pleasure of meeting Lori back in March at Fotofest in Houston and I've been a fan of the work and the person ever since, so I was very happy to see her again at PhotoNOLA last week.

Lori was at PhotoNOLA showing off some new work from a project called "Piano Farm" and getting her new work reviewed.  Somehow she arranged for and produced a show of beautifully toned black&white silver gelatin prints in someone's house in the Treme section of New Orleans.

Upon arriving at the house with a truck load of reviewers  (you know who you are), driven by Sam Portera, none of us were positive about where we were at, nor should we be there.

Once inside, we found one of the best shows going on in New Orleans.  I'm not sure I've ever been to a photography show before where the surroundings were so perfect.  The house that, well, housed the show was in the middle of restoration with loads of exposed walls and ceilings and a slightly creepy feeling.  Had I been in the house alone, with the dim lighting, creaky floors and somewhat haunting photographs, I'd probably be a bit on edge.  It was kind of like a haunted New Orleans house. In the space, the photographs really fit the environment.  I loved it.

If I heard her correctly, Lori set the show up in a day or so.  With the help of one of her gallerists, Jennifer Schwartz, and a friend whose name I do not recall, they built frames and set up all the lighting, which had to be brought in just for the show.  Also, I believe, the show was only up for one night.  I should add, the show was very well attended and at times felt down right crowded.

Lori's work is beautiful and well crafted.  Some of her influences are apparent but her voice is clearly heard (or seen) in the work.  She is an excellent silver gelatin printer as these are some of the best I've seen in a long time.  Also, seeing beautifully handcrafted prints is refreshing at an event (PhotoNOLA) where digital is king.

Take a few minutes to check out her on her website.  I think you will really enjoy it.

Pics by Sam Portera (more to come as soon as Sam sends them)

1 comment:

  1. I enjoyed reading this nicely written review. I had similar thoughts when I saw images from this show posted on Facebook. It looked like the absolute perfect setting for this work. I also loved that Lori had custom made frames and lighting that perfectly suited the space (and the work). There's a discussion on the frames here:

    and here:

    I wish I could have seen this show in person.