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Peter Marr's Picks of the Show

Peter's Picks 2008-2009: a Retrospective  

January 26 - February 20, 2011

click here to return to the details of the exhibit

In addition to the Retrospective, for this exhibit Peter Marr has picked his favorite photos from the show by the guest photographers and also describes the strength of the images he has chosen.


All images copyright by the individual photographers

The Boy - Zagreb, Croatia by Jesse Thayer

The Boy – Zagreb, Croatia
by Jesse Thayer

The East Gallery is privileged to have a compelling and dynamic series of images by Jesse, which intriguingly covers a wide range of truly thought-provoking subject material. Although I would like to comment on many of his excellent prints, I chose The Boy to discuss further, because of my admiration for its emotional and haunting qualities. Visually, the author’s choice of a brown tonal scale is admirable, befitting the panorama of the “Old City” section of Zagreb, whilst quietly making us aware of the newer, less interesting high-rise buildings that are dotted around the landscape. This old versus new perception is entrancingly symbolized by the two compelling figures in the foreground. The stark ledge strikingly points like an arrow, to attract our eyes and thoughts mesmerizingly towards these figures.

We know that we are observing a father and his young son, and the artist has carefully chosen a camera angle, where the father’s head is completely obscured by the boy, who in turn has his back to us. It is very evident that the power of this photograph produces a communicable meaning, and as George Tice so importantly stated, “The question is not what you look at, but what you see.” Here we have an ideal opportunity for each viewer to envisage, reminisce, and perhaps recreate a past memory, of when they may have been in a similar situation. For myself, I would like to think that the father is recalling past experiences and memories that he has had in Zagreb and it surrounds, but certainly not just reflecting on the past, but offering counsel on what the future may hold for his son. Hopefully, both father and son will stay in close contact for many years, and certainly, the father will do all in his power to continue to help and nurture his beloved offspring. It is a truly haunting and poignant image.


Fairport Sunset by Sarah Adkins

Fairport at Sunset
by Sarah Adkins

This enchanting image of the dramatic rays of the setting sun, piercing through the evening sky to illuminate this lovely idyllic canal scene, has been creatively seen and captured by the artist.  The impressively colorful sky, the intriguingly patterned reflections in the water, and the stately silhouettes of the background buildings, all combine to enhance this serene and peaceful vista. We are constantly aware of the two impressive boats that are moored alongside the canal pathway, one a tourist pleasure vessel, principally used for daytime trips, the other a houseboat, that offers a much longer lasting impression of canal life.

The real fascination with this warm, uplifting print, is that incredulously, there is not a single person around to experience this memorable picturesque setting. It is as though the approaching sunset has signaled the end of the outdoor festivities, and relegated everyone to life indoors for the evening, thereby sadly missing out on one of nature’s grandest finales. Even the houseboat occupants seem to have closed up shop, leaving a few reminders of their daily activities on top the “deck”. Certainly, there is a tinge of sadness in that no one is around to experience this beautiful panorama, except thankfully the artist, who has recorded this lovely scene for all of us to admire at our leisure. The Fairport canal has never looked so calm, warm and gladdening as it does in this delightful image. 


Strada Caprizio by Martin Nott

Strada Caprizio
by Martin Nott

Martin has creatively given us some delightful waterscapes, together with selected images from a recent trip to Italy, one which is a spectacularly breathtaking view of the Ponte Vecchio, which is truly Ablaze with impact and color. Faced with such a difficult choice to comment further on, I decided on Strada Caprizio, mainly because the longer that I looked at this print, the more that I enjoyed this masterly glimpse at a small sliver of Italian street life. I love the soft lighting and the delicate range of pastel colors, although like every viewer of this intimate scene, one has to be aware, and be jolted by, the bright cyan-blue plastic shopping bag the lady is carrying. Certainly we are all aware that this bag is congruous with our current time and fashion period, but happily, we can quickly switch our attention to the imposing older gentleman, who is most surely fully concentrating on coaxing his violin to produce the most satisfying sound. What is absolutely fascinating about this street scene, is that the man is well-dressed, as clearly evidenced by his well-kept suit, together with his tie, hat, shoes and white socks, all of which are seemingly of impeccable quality, and definitely not indicative of someone seeking monetary rewards for his musical talents. Furthermore, his old, but treasured violin case is placed on a paper support for protection, but it is definitely left in an open position, probably to welcome any contribution from any grateful passer-by, but only for a just gratuity for his artistic talents. The violinist’s face exudes warmth and dedication, and I would believe that he sits in this spot for many hours a week, giving enjoyment to all who pass by. Contrast his benevolent demeanor with that of the young lady, who passed by oblivious of his presence or his music. If she had minded, she would have transferred her garish plastic bag to her empty hand, to avoid hitting the old man, especially in view of the narrowness of the “strada”. Curiously, our eyes are constantly drawn to the lady’s left hand, and in particular, to the upraised thumb. Perhaps she had been thinking of maybe getting out a little money in admiration for the music playing? Truthfully, I do not think this was the case, and other scenarios could explain this gesture. The true beauty of this striking image, besides admiring it for the author’s artistic eye and quick reaction time, is for the viewer to enjoy everything about this picture, and to try and envisage what they see and love about it.

Peter Marr

We are very grateful to Peter for his thorough review and selection for Peter's Picks. Peter was born in England in 1935 and came to live in the United States in 1968. He worked for the Eastman Kodak Company for 34 years, retiring in 1998. During his employment and continuing into retirement, he has been an enthusiastic photographer. His photography has won him numerous awards throughout Kodak and in International Salons, including 5 George Eastman Medals, which is the top honor awarded to the most outstanding picture in the Annual Kodak International Salon. He has served as a judge in both local and international photographic competitions for the past 20 years, and is a Past president of the Kodak Camera Club and past chairman of many of the Kodak Camera Club organizations. In the past five years or so, he has devoted his photographic skills and interest into nature photography, notably bird photography. His bird photography has been the subject of several one-person exhibits, the most recent being at Ding Darling NWR, in Sanibel, Florida, The Roger Tory Peterson Institute in Jamestown, New York, and at the Webster Public Library in Webster, NY.

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