review

Angela Bacon-Kidwell
Reveries of Imagination

Woodstock Times -August 5, 2010
Smart Art by Paul Smart


Unresolved Moments

Texas-based photographer Angela Bacon-Kidwell says her enigmatic works, which open in a new exhibit entitled "Reveries of Imagination" at Galerie BMG on Tannery Brook Road this Friday, August 6, are "unresolved moments from which the viewer must imagine a beginning and end."

"In this way, my images can become personal, each viewer lost in their own dream story within mine," she continues about the dreamy series from which she'll be showing choice pieces…and speaking about at an artist's reception 5 p.m.-7 p.m. Saturday, August 14. "My photography comes from a life long obsession of exploring how my subconscious generates my dreams…For me, it is about being in the moment of a planned vision. That is were I'm most connected to my creativity."

The BMG show represents this emerging artist's fourth solo exhibition of the year, with a simultaneous reception in Dallas this Saturday having kept her from this week's opening. Last year, the 2004 college graduate with a BFA in painting enjoyed three two-person shows and participation in nine key group exhibitions, in addition to winning a First Place International Photography Award for her "Traveling Dream" series.

There's a strain of fellow Texan Keith Carter's penchant for memorable, surreal moments in her work, which stretches back through Henri Cartier-Bresson's penchant for the "decisive moment" to Martin Munkacsi's elevation of the beauty of motion to an art form. Via her use of family models, and herself, she also draws comparisons to some of Sally Mann's early work, or Robert Frank's.

And yet key to all this young artist does is a confident focus on her own repeating obsessions…moody skies and rain, a sense of traveling combined with inertia, a wistful recognition of the beauty of minutiae matched by wide skies and ever-opening vistas.

"As I move through my day, I am keenly aware of my encounters with people, places and things. I mentally record the details of these situations, and the physical or emotional responses that they evoke. These fleeting associations replay themselves in my dreams," she writes of her process. "The random moments combine to form sleep stories that are rich narratives, ripe with symbolism. With that as my model, I construct sets, use props and invite myself and models to perform in a natural, intuitive way. In essence, I attempt to create a waking dream."

It's refreshing to see such eternal, natural classicism in such a young vision. Somehow, traditions pass on…via our dreams, perhaps?