Friday, February 15, 2008Home

Paul Ferman continues international tour of Necessary Illusions

Paul Ferman, Australian photographer and creator of the groundbreaking series "Necessary Illusions," will be exhibiting his mixed-media images at Interno Ventidue in Rome. Following an exhibition at M.O.P. Gallery in Sydney, Ferman continues his exhibition tour of composite photographic satire. The subject is Western culture's growing preoccupation with celebrity, and the vulgarity of tabloid sensationalism. With shocking juxtapositions of glossy magazine covers (deceptive, flashy headlines, airbrushed bodies and faces, and much more) with photographs of tragedy, squalor, and disaster, Ferman has attached an artistic microscope to the rose-colored lens of popular culture.

Fashion photography buffs need not picket this one: images of beautiful models and clothing are frequently covered up by other subjects, leaving only the over-energetic proclamations from an editorial formed and fed by information mass-consumption. With glamour squarely out of the equation, the context is completely transformed. There is also a savvy consciousness that points to a twisted kind of optimism: the anodyne of the masses is taking on a life of its own, and Ferman hints that is a childish, misguided—but benevolent—consciousness that is linking more and more people together.

From Paul Ferman's website:

"Celebrity Culture, let's call him CC, has followed a long and winding road to enlightenment, searching his soul in areas such as spiritualism, the arts, benevolent work and the media. It therefore seems only right that CC would at some point begin to compile sacred texts on all he has learnt."

Rome has ever been a center of art, both from the finest classical traditions and from the cutting-edge. This exhibition will satisfy fans of the latter, though this exhibition risks passing Rome's glamour community in the night, despite the prestige of the venue. Click here to view a gallery of images.

Image: Necessary Illusions #323 © Paul Ferman.

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