Pictura Gallery

Clarissa Bonet & Julie Renée Jones

Images from Clarissa Bonet’s City Scape

Images from Julie Renée Jones’ Umbra

Julie Reneé Jones and Clarissa Bonet found themselves newly stationed in Chicago as graduate students at Columbia. As newcomers to this urban setting, both women made their photographic work, in part, as a response to the city. The impetus and methods of exploration used to produce these two bodies of work are somewhat similar, however, the results are quite distinct. Both series are rich manifestations of inner vision and personal imagination.Each artist has created their own small visual world to describe their inner emotional landscapes. Jones’ installation is like walking in between the pages of a family album. She mines the familiarity of home while Bonet confronts that which is foreign. In a subtle way, these projects are a sort of inverse of one another; Jones does with light what Bonet does with shadow. Bonet uses darkness to select the field of vision for the viewer, concealing the surrounding city in patches of shadow. She literally highlights what she wants the viewer to notice and hides the rest, stretching a sense of mystery out to the edge of the frame.Jones uses family members as a cast of characters, often obscuring them with overwhelming and brilliant light. Light is an element of equal import to both artists and bears nearly as much physicality as the space and the figures who inhabit them. Both Jones and Bonet employ a fairly distinct dialect in the language of light, and as we move through their photographs, we learn how to look and feel in their language.

Clarissa Bonet (b. 1986 Tampa Florida) lives and works in Chicago. She received her M.F.A. in photography from Columbia College Chicago in 2012 and her B.S. in Photography from the University of Central Florida. Her work has been exhibited in Chicago, California, and New York, among other places as well as internationally in Paris and at the Pingyao International Photo Festival in China. She was the recipient of the Albert P. Weisman grant for two consecutive years. Her work is in the collection of the South East Museum of Photography and Calumet Photographic. In 2012 she was in the top 50 of Critical Mass, and won PDN’s the Curator; search for undiscovered fine art photography. Most recently she has been chosen as a winner in Magenta Foundation’s 2013 Emerging Photographer exchange.

City Space Artist | Statement

The urban space is striking. Its tall and mysterious buildings, crowds of anonymous people, an endless sea of concrete constantly intrigue me. City Space is a ongoing photographic exploration of the urban environment and my perception of it. I am interested in the physical space of the city and its emotional and psychological impact on the body. These photographs reconstruct mundane events in the city that I have personally experienced or witnessed in public. Stark light, deep shadow and muted color are visual strategies I explore to describe the city. I use the city as a stage and transform the physical space into a psychological one. The images I create do not represent a commonality of experience but instead provide a personal interpretation of the urban landscape.

Julie Renée Jones grew up in Dayton Ohio, where the majority of her photographic focus has remained throughout her career. She received her MFA from Columbia College Chicago in 2012 and earned her BFA from the University of Dayton in 2007. Julie’s work has been exhibited both nationally and internationally. Her most recent exhibitions include Hyde Park Arts Center’s Ground Floor Exhibition, which showcases emerging artists recently graduated from Chicago’s diverse MFA programs; Archetype Drift at Johalla Projects; and was one of of three artists chosen for a group show at Margate Photo Fest 3, juried by Charlotte Cotton, Diane Smyth, Raphaelle Stopin, and Trish Morrissey, in Margate Kent, United Kingdom. Work from her series Umbra was featured in the September 2012 print issue of The British Journal of Photography. She currently lives and works in both Dayton Ohio and Chicago Illinois.

Umbra | Artist Statement

In Umbra, moments delineated as tedious or banal are sought out, creating a space where the mythic and sublime may exist in the ordinary and the everyday. Using the language of photography, I manipulate our perception of the physical world by creating moments where magical elements are presented as real occurrences. In doing so I seek to question expectations of the way we understand and experience the world around us. Umbra is an exploration of the line where observable reality collapses into the realm of the unknown and surreal.

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