Luke Barber-Smith: CAESAR’S, 2014.  Framed chromogenic print.  18″ x 30″ x 1.5″


Luke Barber Smith: Atlantic City

May 2 – June 13, 2015

Opening Reception on May 2, 6-9 pm

LOUDHAILER is pleased to present Atlantic City, new works by New York based artist Luke Barber-Smith.  The exhibition opens with a public reception on May 2nd from 6-9 pm, and continues through June 13

Luke Barber-Smith’s latest exhibition, Atlantic City, confronts viewers with a stark blend of transparency and obscurity. The concept of transparency can be interpreted in a variety of ways, but in this context Barber-Smith’s focus is on that which is known, recognizable, or useful. Though the subject matter is clear and readily identifiable, these banal encounters with the everyday begin to transform into otherworldly scenarios.
Digital modifications evoke mystery within the traditionally photographed subject matter, a method which allows the works to hover somewhere between symbolic and iconic. The tactility of the objects and places he documents is denied, their lived-in and social qualities now alien. Their dimensions flatten, the once solid objects now a one-sided surface, an abstract sheen.

Like a face behind a veil, the forced search for an obscured form magnifies its intensity. Similarly, these works become uncannily monumental, often contrary to their scale, due to the action of seeking their figure and discovering what one is actually looking at. Searching, of course, can happen in a variety of ways. The vantage point Barber-Smith favors is that of the pedestrian, even the voyeur — digital surveillance implied by the perspectives and enhancements presented in the photographs. His work functions within the gap between accidental discovery and a more self-imposed endeavor—the unique compositions you stumble upon against your will. Architectural forms in Barber-Smith’s photos have a spectral quality about them that belies their impenetrability, like ahistorical monoliths erected to appear as though they were a plenum of empty space.

Luke Barber-Smith was born in 1981 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.   He studied at the School of Visual Arts and currently lives in New York.  His work has been included in several group exhibitions, including: The Journal Gallery, Brooklyn, NY; Duve Gallery, Berlin DE; Parkhaus, Dusseldorf DE (2 person exhibition with David Ostrowski) and The Kings County Biennial, Brooklyn NY, curated by James Fuentes. He has had solo exhibitions at Magic 175 Canal St., New York, NY and ‘AON Center’ at Primetime 135 Huntington St., Brooklyn NY.    Atlantic City will be Barber-Smith’s Los Angeles debut.