Simon Denny

Close Haircut Leaning with Cigar in Textured Metal Lightbox

Art + Object

Important Paintings and Contemporary Art

7 April 2022

Lot 67

The irony of this piece is declared in its title which implies familiarity and some form of documentary intimacy. These expectations are thwarted through a conceptual puzzle where representation is objectively distanced in a process akin to reversing the usual construction of meaning through symbols. The photographic image is shot from elevation to avoid facial recognition and the tightly cropped composition is spatially disorienting. The lightbox holds the smaller photograph centrally attached with opaque adhesive tape, above and below a fluorescent tube then its cardboard packaging similarly attached. The light in this case isn't allowed to be, we simply have the idea of illumination and its promise of further revelation. From a New Zealand perspective there's reference to Bill Culbert whose fluorescent tubes suggest pathways to spiritual engagement or enlightenment. This piece similarly relates to the assemblages of Don Driver, where new language evolves through ritual and selective repurposing of common materials. A scaffold of anticipated meaning is gradually removed until the unexpected and unfamiliar's enabled. Auction estimate (NZ $5000 - $9000).

William Eggleston    Untitled (Atlanta) 1984

Photographs, New York
6 April 2022