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HomeContentsCommentaries > Colin Westerbeck: Photo Synthesis

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Tim HawkinsonOctopus
Cindy ShermanUntitled Film Still #82
Robert Glenn KetchumLakeshore in Morning Fog
Abelardo MorellCamera Obscura Image of the Grand Tetons in Resort Room, Jackson Hole, Wyoming
John SanchezRachel Rosenthal, Artist
Mitch EpsteinBuena Vista, Colorado
Leland RiceVolkswagen With Figure
Catherine WagnerThe Lamps of 1900
Ned SloaneTelephone Pole Piece, Los Angeles: Photograph of Kim Jones
Andrew Freeman#3.4.04- Don Becker's Garage & Guesthouse, Independence, California N36O.48.229 - W118O.11.620
Ken Gonzales-DayFranklin Avenue (1920)
Jo Ann CallisMan in Tie
Bruce NaumanBurning Small Fires (Artist Book)
Annie LeibovitzScarlett Johansson, Chateau Marmont, West Hollywood
David MaiselOblivion 1382-52p
Gilbert B. WeingourtTimothy Leary
Richard MisrachUntitled (Ocotillo)
Edward SteichenSylvia Sidney, Hollywood
Ruben OchoaFwy Wall Extraction
Hunter S. Thompson and othersFrom "Gonzo"
Henry WesselLas Vegas No. 15
James FeeEpiphany
John BaldessariFace (with Red Nose): Plus Four Alternate Noses
Anthony HernandezEverything #2
Ansel AdamsGraduation dress
Loretta AyeroffMountain View, Edris Drive
Grant MudfordWalt Disney Concert Hall, Under Construction #7
Frederick SommerStendhal
Tina ModottiInterior of the Church Tower at Tepotzotlan
Henri Cartier-BressonMexico City
Irving PennHell's Angels, San Francisco
William DassonvilleFrom Glacier Point
Christina FernandezFashion International
Mark LaitaAir Traffic Controller, Todd Phipps, Palmdale, California, May 5, 2006
Juggler, Sergey Gripkov, Los Angeles, February 21, 2000
Mark WyseUntitled Landscape
U.S. Air Force 1352nd Photographic Group, Lookout Mountain StationSugar, 1.2 Kilotons, Nevada
Julius ShulmanVon Sternberg Residence, Northridge
Joaquin TrujilloAmy, Los Ninos
Robert HeineckenShiva Manifesting as a Single Mother
Han NguyenTsunami
Melanie EinzigBikram Yoga Instructor, North Beach, San Francisco
John Patrick SalisburyUntitled No. 134
Karen HalversonGamble House Entry
Bill Owens4th of July Parade, Pleasanton, California
Catherine OpieMy Studio, Suzanne's Work
Eliot PorterReflections in Pool, Escalante River, Utah
Adam BartosLos Angeles
Stan HondaFrom the Heart Mountain Barracks Project
Hiromu KiraThe Thinker
Jeff MermelsteinYosemite National Park, California
Lewis BaltzWest Wall, Unoccupied Industrial Structure, 20 Airway Drive, Costa Mesa
Dennis HopperRobert Irwin
Hansel Mieth and Otto HagelS.F. Water Front
Edward BurtynskyOxford Tire Pile #8, Westley, California
Beahan & McPheeAlmond Trees and Flood Irrigation, Oakdale
Larry SultanBoxers, Mission Hills
Isabel GomesBlue Horizon, Santa Rosa Island
Edward WestonCabbage Leaf
Anthony FriedkinOffshore Winds, Zuma Beach
Richard LongDonner Pass Circle: Along a 20 Day Walk from Ebbetts Pass to the North Fork Feather River Sierra Nevada California 2005
John SwopeDorothy McGuire, Beverly Hills
Hans-Christian SchinkLA Night #1
Herve FriendRedlands From Smiley Hill
Joel SternfeldQueen of the Prom, the Range Nightclub, Slab City, California
   
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Jo Ann Callis 
Man in Tie 
1977 
  
© Jo Ann Callis; courtesy Museum of Photographic Arts 
  
 
LL/17471 
  
Photo Synthesis
Colin Westerbeck
 
Jo Ann Callis is among the photographers represented in "Rebels & Revelers" at the Museum of Photographic Arts in San Diego through May 6.
 
Titles of early publications on Jo Ann Callis' work often contained similar phrases - "In the Realm of the Senses," "The Puzzles and Pleasures of Voyeurism," "Objects of Reverie" - that are evocative of this photograph. The necktie, "acting like an arrow," as Callis admits, points emphatically at the subject's slightly spread fly, but otherwise, the picture is discreet. "Reverie" is the right word for the vague, strictly implicit sexuality of her photographs.
 
Other images in the series are also obliquely suggestive. In one, spilled wine on a tablecloth looks like a bloodstain on a sheet; in another, a young woman's freshly washed hair is more provocative than the bareness of her back. At a time when all manner of people, from feminists to pornographers, were moving toward more strident, aggressive, explicit representations of sex, Callis was creating pictures that are refreshingly innocent in a polymorphous perverse way.
 
When making this photograph, she was, she recalls, "thinking about fetishism and what is female, what is male." She rouged her subject's lips and hooded his upper face in darkness. The disheveled clothes and the shadow on the neck that looks like a love bite add to the ambiguous effect. It's a photograph that makes the aura of sex more powerful than the act itself.
 
[Originally published in West Magazine : February 25, 2007, p.11] 
 
 
  
 
  
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