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Peter Marr's Picks of the Show

Peter's Picks 2008-2009: a Retrospective, Part 2 

February 23 - March 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

Sint-Janskathedraal by Susan Kaye

Sint-Janskathedraal, Netherlands
by Susan Kaye

Susan’s impressive display of kaleidoscopic images of both architectural features of cathedrals and towns, and of intricate details of computer circuit boards, are refreshing and delightfully enchanting. Using impeccable technique and a masterly artistic eye, she has given us a great opportunity to explore new perspectives on some familiar elements, admirably expressed by her as “A different point of view.” Using symmetrical matrices, combined with a wide range of both delicate and saturated hues, we enter a fascinating world of images that are not only stimulating to look at, but are excitingly appealing to our imagination. In the above print that I chose to comment further on, I particularly admired the delicate and intricate detail, together with the softness and muted vibrancy of the color envelope. Furthermore, I was impressed with the striking 3D quality, evidenced by the fact that you can go through four horseshoe-like portals into spatial layers that offer endless exploration.

The more that I look at and into this creative print, the more that I see and are aware of a central alien presence. The central figure, with a symmetrical body, has two powerful horizontal arms that reach out to the far walls, whilst its closed legs rest comfortably on the floor. The alien’s stomach, a complex of a myriad of shapes, seems to be directly responsible for the shouts emanating from the creature’s mouth, where the wide-open lips appear to exalt us to come closer. This mouth is a definitive part a face that is topped with an amusing double-peaked head, and an intricate patterned structure that extends to both ears. The one mystery that is not so obvious, is as to whether the alien is acting as a sentry to bar further exploration of the complex, or is he encouraging us to go through the horseshoes to probe further? I realize my interpretation of this unique surreal image may be a little bizarre, but here we have a great chance to explore the art of observation. Finding something really interesting has little to do with the things you see, but everything to do with the way you see them, a comment partially attributed to Elliott Erwitt.


Tree in Central Park by Larry Merrill

Tree- Central Park
by Larry Merrill

This is a truly compelling image of nature joyously bursting forth in early spring with unbounding speed and energy, in direct contrast to the lassitude of the sleeping giant in the foreground. There is an exuberant euphoria from the thick matted grasses growing in random profusion, each blade twisting and turning upwards for maximum light exposure. The rhododendra are almost in full flower, and the profuse leaves on the background trees are showing off their finest greenery. These leaves are proudly showing a myriad of delightful green and yellow hues, welcoming and enjoying every minute of life before insects and birds beset them later in the season. There is a heightened awareness as we experience each subject’s atmosphere, creating a spell that has charged the commonplace with incredible beauty. Into this idyllic scene, we impose the powerful, serpentine structures of the menacing branches of a leviathan of Central Park.

In visual language, this tree has line, shape, form and texture, and its contorted shape is more important because it is separated from the background by tonal and color contrasts. The twisted and convoluted limbs of this tree speak loudly of countless agonizing years of growth, and to the absence of pruning and human maintenance. It is also evident that the main trunk, as it veers sharply to the left, is being strangled by a large limb that is determined to go to the right, resulting in an agonizing cry from the trunk’s wide-open mouth. It is not readily apparent why nature allowed this distortion and suffering. Belatedly, there are a few leaves barely visible, striving to establish themselves, whilst clusters of thin branches at the end of some branches resemble brittle twigs, future victims to be broken off with the next strong wind. The real beauty of this dramatic photograph is that it impressively shows how nature can be so enticing and beautiful on the one hand, but seemingly cruel and inevitable on the other. Here, a veteran is possibly on its way out, but re-birth and excitement is evidenced everywhere. The once powerful, gnarled and twisted edifice has probably suffered long enough, whereas this lovely part of Central Park welcomes in new life and hope for the future.



Mosaic by John Solberg

by John Solberg

This is an exquisitely seen and captured image of part of an elaborate mosaic floor, strikingly photographed from the viewpoint of the top of a staircase. One is immediately captivated by the inlay designs of the terrazzo floor, which are reminiscent of Eastern European/Asian cultures, so that their symbolism is not readily apparent to most of us. Certainly, the impressively colored embedded tiles are bold, diverse and visually inspiring. We are very aware that this segment of the mosaic floor is just a small part of a much larger work of art, one that we would love to both see and to learn about the history and significance of this jeweled masterpiece. Strikingly, at the bottom of the staircase, there is an elegantly carved newel and finial, supported by elaborate carvings on the supporting framework, all of which appear to historically mirror the inlay patterns of the floor.

As our eyes follow the lovely curved banister rail, down to the floor, we are immediately cognizant of the fact that the stairs are spaced precariously wide apart at the top, and in a much needed state of repair at the bottom. The lower steps possibly are the original ones, dating from the time that the staircase was constructed, in which case they may have been left unrepaired for historical reasons. There is definitely an incongruity between the magnificent mosaic floor and the ornate staircase with the condition that the stairs themselves are in. We may never be able to solve this mystery, but it does not take away from the fact that John has presented us with a wonderful image, that gives us a fascinating and delightful insight into the talents and artistic skills of people from a country beyond our shores.


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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