June 7 – July 8, 2012
Reception Wednesday June 13, 7pm
Members Gallery talk 6:15pm
June 1, 2012 (Winchester, MA)__Christopher Chadbourne is a Boston-based photographer and storyteller intrigued with “accidental communities” comprised of strangers who momentarily and randomly occupy a common physical space.
He uses the relationships between subjects and between subject and context to explore culture, rituals, and place.
A series of his photographs, State Fair, is featured in the Atelier Gallery at the Griffin Museum June 7 through July 8. An opening reception with the artist is June 13, 7-8:30 p.m.
“State fairs are both America’s most democratic institution and a stage upon which the idiosyncrasies of human behavior play out against a backdrop of color, contextual complexity, and human diversity,” says Chadbourne.
He describes state fairs as “a place of sensual overload on the eyes, ears, and digestive track.” And, Chadbourne says, “”It is a beloved American ritual to which people come by the millions every late summer and early autumn.
“They represent the spectrum of American diversity – in income, ethnicity, race, age, education, and occupation,” he says. “In no other venue in America does such equality and diversity occur…I wanted to photograph this American institution – engulfed in the crowd – subject and context intertwined; to capute the exuberance, the motion, the color, the facial expressions that suggest stories buried within.”
And, Chadbourne says, he wanted to document the unique tradition of state fairs at a time when many of them are becoming extinct. “While thriving in some states, the economic viability and the balancing act between the regional authentic and the anywhere generic are in many of the states increasingly precarious,” he says.
Chadbourne taught design for a decade in the graduate schools of design at Princeton, Columbia, and Harvard. He was founder and creative director of a design firm that crafted stories, exhibits, and multimedia for some of the country’s most prestigious museums.
In the past year, his photography has been exhibited in galleries and museums in Boston and New York City. He was a Critical Mass finalist, was included in the New England Photography Biennial, and was chosen as one of 10 photographers from New England whose work appeared in the International Flash Forward Festival in 2011 and the New York Photo Festival in 2012.
Chadbourne presents a gallery talk for museum members June 13, 6:15 p.m., prior to the public reception.