Location: Philadelphia , PA
Venue: 3rd Street Gallery
By Holly Otterbein
Thank god Keith Sharp’s photographs have changed.
In past years, the trompe l’oeil artist would fuse together man-made objects and natural scenes, which left the viewer questioning what was what. Grasses grew behind windows, and curtains morphed into mountains. It was delightfully trippy. The downside is that photographs were sometimes more obvious than mysterious.
That all changed with Sharp’s new exhibit, “Seeing Through.” His work will still make you do a double take, only now it’ll be at a much slower rate. He plays with light, shadows and color to tweak the viewer’s perception. Cars and buildings appear to be see-through. Trees seem to break the laws of physics.
“In this most recent series, I have reworked and layered images in an attempt to make objects seem transparent,” he says in an artist’s statement. “In these photographs it appears as if the skies and trees around and behind these buildings, cars, fences and walls go right through those objects.”
Jean Burdick is exhibiting her paintings and drawings alongside Sharp in the show “Shared Origins.” She, too, mashes together disparate objects. She uses photographs of flora from her treks through America’s National Park system for inspiration, as well as pictures from the evolutionary sciences. The textured images, which look like cellular patterns, are intended to speak to a higher truth.
“Elements of nature are magnified, overlapped and obscured, reflecting the continual growth and change, which is the touchstone of the natural world,” she says in a statement.