Diane Rosenstein Fine Art is pleased to announce Talking Heads, a solo exhibition of new photographs by Matthew Rolston.
Matthew Rolston: Talking Heads will present monumental color portraits of dummies chosen from a collection of nearly seven hundred ventriloquists dolls (dating from 1820 – 1980) housed at the Vent Haven Museum in Fort Mitchell, Kentucky. In 2010, Rolston set up a portrait studio at the museum and photographed each of his subjects in an identical manner: square format, low angle, monochromatic backdrop, and a single light source. The resulting photographs are grounded in a visual vocabulary articulated by Irving Penn, Richard Avedon, and Andy Warhol; they also invoke the classic tropes of Pygmalian: energize the inanimate, and in so doing, infuse them with an idiosyncratic and expressive humanity. The photographer argues on behalf of our collective humanity, and he offers the gaze of these portraits as an avenue of connection.
The Talking Heads exhibition will present larger-than-life prints measuring sixty inches square, including Anonyma Boy (2010), who bears an unmistakable resemblance to Avedon’s portrait of Andy Warhol. An edited series of smaller photographs will present Pancho (2010), a hazel-eyed Everyman who regards us with the weariness and candor of a performer who has spent his life on the road. Noisy Crachini (2010) is the bejeweled centerpiece of a monumental triptych that depicts a high society trio: the gentlemen are cosmopolitan swells, wearing white ties and top hats, but their poignant expressions bring into question the nature of this delightful ménage.
A monograph accompanies this exhibition: TALKING HEADS: The Vent Haven Portraits, (2012, Pointed Leaf Press, NYC). The 151 page book features over 100 full color illustrations and includes essays by Edward Rothstein, Matthew Rolston, Terry Fator, and Hunter Drohojowska-Philp whose essay is entitled, Dummies' Dreams Fulfilled.
Matthew Rolston is represented by both Diane Rosenstein Fine Art and Fahey/Klein Gallery, Los Angeles.