Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Bob Mizer in Berlin! Feb. 19 -- March 19

I received a press release from Den Bell over at AMG about an interesting exhibit opening this week -- "Bob Mizer: Select Private Works 1942 - 1992" -- 26 Cibachrome prints made from original Kodachrome slides.

From the Exile Gallery website -- Exile understands art as a collaborative, inter-generational and overarching discourse embedded in socio-political, gender, and personal history as much as in aesthetic theory and conceptual practice.

Exile was founded in October 2008 in Alexandrinenstr 4, Berlin-Kreuzberg. On Feb 19, 2011 Exile re-opens in Köpenicker Str 39, Berlin-Mitte.

Bob Mizer: Select Private Works 1942-1992 begins with documentary-based photographs from Venice Beach, CA from the mid 1940s and a selection of outdoor portraits taken during his first trip to Europe in 1951. During these years, Mizer created his photographic identity as well as his entrepreneurial voice for AMG and Physique Pictorial.

The exhibition continues by examining the artist’s particular use of color. Mizer began experimenting with color photography as early as the mid 1940s and continued to experiment throughout his career. This took several forms, ranging from fashion-based imagery to formal portraiture. Many of these photographs show a subtle understanding and manipulation of color and lighting effects - all imbued with a characteristic style and underlying symbolism.

The exhibit culminates in a selection of works that illustrate the ways in which Mizer constantly challenged his own visual language. These works show how he developed and appropriated many of today's known stereotypes of masculine visual representation - and then further shows his incessant obsession to push further and further into and beyond his own stereotypes. These particular images are multi-layered fables of embedded visual coding: an angry-looking Marine who has lost his pants, a Jesus on a fabric-clad cross in a state of excitement, and a fake Native-American standing proudly against airplane jet trails in the LAX flight path.

Exile is excited to show a side of this unique artist’s work and of our collective cultural history that has hitherto been underrated and unexplored. His vast estate consists of about one million negatives and transparencies, countless reels of 8 and 16 mm films, thousands of BetaMax videotapes, as well as large amounts of personal paraphernalia. This exhibition has been curated by Christian Siekmeier and Billy Miller, in conjunction with Dennis Bell and Christopher Trout from the Mizer Foundation.

The images you see here will be part of the exhibit.

I certainly wish Den and the folks at Exile Gallery all the best and great success!

Read more about it: Exile Gallery and Bob Mizer Foundation

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