EXHIBITION FROM APRIL 22ND TILL JUNE 3RD, 2017
Hope is not a form of guarantee; it’s a form of energy, and very frequently that energy is strongest in circumstances that are very dark.
Unlike any other visual image, a photograph is not a rendering, an imitation or an interpretation of its subject, but actually a trace of it. No painting or drawing, however naturalist, belongs to its subject in the way that a photograph does.
All photographs are there to remind us of what we forget. In this -as in other ways- they are the opposite of paintings. Paintings record what the painter remembers. Because each one of us forgets different things, a photo more than a painting may change its meaning according to who is looking at it.
– John Berger
Eddie Colla’s work as a street artist stemmed from his career as a commercial photographer. His commercial work included shooting a wide variety of products, people and industries including fashion. He learned all of the tricks of the trade that go into making a model look flawless and creating a sellable illusion,. As time passed, Colla started to contemplate beauty; the authenticity of beauty, where strength in beauty lays and what is behind and under exterior beauty. This crossroad of where beauty and strength overlap began to occupy his thoughts. Through everything, the perseverance of strength continued to rise to the surface.
His artistic work started to strip down the exterior and reevaluate beauty expressed through empowerment and strength. Using no tricks of the trade, Colla photographs his subjects tattered and forsaken with the goal in mind to be able to tap into an inner core, that little spark that cannot be extinguished, the small place inside that cannot be destroyed. This space is a universal space that tells us, we can endure; we can show strength under adversity. Colla strips all social and economic constructs from the exterior. In doing so he portrays a person at a vulnerable yet primitive and dignified yet raw moment in the subject’s life.
By exposing a person as they are, unadorned, defeated, forlorn, the subjects become real, touchable, relatable. They are not made up to conceal anything; nothing is used to enhance the exterior physical beauty. They are natural and, in this natural state, the depiction of strength is brought to light. This authenticity in Colla’s work provides a mirror that allows us to open our minds just enough to reflect, momentary, upon our vulnerable inner core. The strength that radiates from Colla’s subjects beckons us to join in the comradery. The hope that emerges in these works, as captured by the artist’s lens, invites us to search within and tap into an inner resource; a small cinder to be stoked into a flame. It is this moment of beauty with all its flaws that Colla captures so well. It is in these dark moments that hope appears and empowers us with confidence, endurance and strength to experience true fundamental beauty, joy, peace. This core is our foundation that proves we are not as fragile as we think we are. It enables us to not only survive but thrive. As a viewer, we can take a moment, ponder the work, search deeply in ourselves and find a bit of courage that we may have thought we had lost.