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Janet RussekRussek's work focuses on her environment; her family, the landscape she lives in, her life events. The themes in her work are ongoing, and, at times, overlapping. She has created substantial bodies of work on many themes; chairs, interiors, trees, children, landscape, and more recently on still lifes.
Russek assisted photographer Eliot Porter from l980 through l990. Her work with Porter involved the day-to-day running of his studio, curating exhibitions and working on book projects; Eliot Porter's Southwest, Mexican Churches, Mexican Celebrations, Monuments of Egypt and Nature's Chaos. Russek represents Porter's estate.
Stemming from her relationship with Eliot and his wife, Aline, Russek produced a body of work on the Porter house in Tesuque, New Mexico. As with her other "interior portraits", the photographs are imbued with a true sense of the inhabitants and their aesthetic.
In 1993 Russek began photographing still lifes, a subject she is still involved with. Her recently published portfolio, "The Tenuous Stem" is based on this work. Using natural light, they are imbued with a sense of dark places and mystery. They are at once sensuous, provocative, and symbolic. Russek, who was trained in printmaking, printed these images on a soft matte paper, enhancing the mood of the photograph.
Russek collaborated with her husband, David Scheinbaum, on a series of photographs on the Ghost Ranch region in Northern New Mexico. The work culminated in the publication and exhibition, Ghost Ranch, Land of Light, 1997. In this work Russek focuses on the landscape and interiors of modern day ruins in the west.
© Verve Fine Arts (January, 2007)