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Sutter Street & Sansome Street, San Francisco
IntroductionPublicly Private is the name given by Christopher Woodcock to his picture series of New York, Boston, and San Francisco. The title was chosen by the artist to draw attention to a reality that is not visible at first glance, but rather hidden behind a city’s architectural facades. Woodcock’s works reflect the words of Italian writer Italo Calvino: “Cities, like dreams, are made of desires and fears, even if the thread of their discourse is secret, their rules absurd, their perspectives deceitful, and everything conceals something else.“
The composition of Woodcock’s shots is so impressive that one is tempted to see them as sophisticated photo montages. This would be a mistake. The viewer is not tricked by an optical illusion, but instead succumbs to a complex reality that mirrors modern life. By using a large-format camera and a lens that captures different image areas with equal definition, the viewer is drawn into a confusing world of urban diversity.
The perspectives chosen by Woodcock are surprising – they nestle between towering residential and commercial buildings, foreground and background blending into one another while the horizon appears to dissolve. The viewer experiences a general loss of orientation and is forced to question the distinction between the private and public spheres. Architecture becomes a visual metaphor for human existence and the structures of society.
To strengthen the effect of these interwoven, interlocking city scenes they are bathed in a surreal light. The intensive colour is produced through a long exposure time at night. The viewer sees a real world presented in artistic form, a window to the future.
1975 Born in San Francisco, USA 2002 Bachelor of Fine Arts – Photography, San Francisco Art Institute, USA Studies in the master program in Fine Arts at UC Davis, University of California, USA Lives in San Francisco, USAGrants
2003 ArtLink@Sotheby's International Young Art programExhibitions
2004 Caterina Pazzi Contemporary Art, Rome, Italy
2003 Sonoma Valley Museum of Art 2007 Biennial, Sonoma, USA
Douglas Udell Gallery of Canada, Canada
Art fairs in Paris and Toronto