Best in show: Don't Quit Your Day Job
by Robert Shuster
The images in this quiet show—all produced by gallery owners who considered but abandoned careers as photographers—won't exactly knock your socks off. But intriguingly, what emerges from this collection, piece by piece, is a composite picture of the artist manqué. A sense of brooding dominates; shadowy nature scenes and dreamy erotica alternate with solemn interiors and stark architectural shots. A resignation to banal fate creeps into Sasha Wolf's moody black-and-white moments, while Jeffrey Fraenkel's formalist, near-abstract views of an ordinary curtain eliminate artistic ambition altogether; the frames were taken by a photo-booth camera.
Elsewhere, Steven Kasher's conceptual arrangements—faces in close-up, each overlaid with a small, circular picture of an object—suggest repressed desire. Tellingly, perhaps, the most accomplished works here are several portraits, beautifully composed by David Fahey with subtle drama, of renowned photographers. Hasted Kraeutler, 537 W 24th, 212-627-0006, hastedkraeutler.com. Through August 19