Michael Elsden: Pogonophora at Westport Arts Center's SOLOS 2010

matt g. #1
© Michael Elsden

Photographer Michael Elsden will be exhibiting at Westport Arts Center's SOLOS 2010 from June 11 to July 25, 2010. Elsden's body of work is called Pogonophora (the beard bearers), and features monumental photographs whose light and feel resemble old master paintings. In each, a solitary man with a beard stands out against a dark background. There is a great richness of detail, as Elsden shot the portraits with a large-format camera. Any prior associations with beards and hyper-masculine gruffness (a "mountain man" preconception) are set aside, and instead there is beauty. Elsden says of the work, "In these images I was looking for a feeling of the reflective, classical, even 'monastic' quality seen in renaissance period portrait painting."

SOLOS 2010 is Westport Arts Center's annual juried members exhibition. Other artists included are Harriet Diamond, Michele Gage, Claire Watson Garcia, Mary Jo Lombardo, Barbara Salinas, Forrest Solis, and Megan Youngquist. The juror was Richard Klein, artist and Exhibition Director at the Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art in Ridgefield, CT.

The opening reception is on Friday, June 11, from 6:30-8:30 pm. Westport Arts Center is located at 51 Riverside Avenue, Westport, CT.