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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    BYTES exhibit creates buzz

    Gallery-walkers look at photography in the Dinnerware Contemporary Arts gallery Saturday night. The ongoing show, called Bytes, focuses on the differences between digital and chemical photography.
    Gallery-walkers look at photography in the Dinnerware Contemporary Arts gallery Saturday night. The ongoing show, called ‘Bytes,’ focuses on the differences between digital and chemical photography.

    “”This is my mom’s painting. It’s $3,000, so it’s weird, but if it were $4,000, it’d be super weird,”” said Mahmood Alshaibi, 6, who was wearing a button thatread “”I Support Artists Downtown.””

    Mahmood was standing underneath his mother’s “”Self-Portrait One,”” which is a digital image showing her wearing an American flag as a headwrap with a city skyline in the background. His mother, Sama Raena Alshaibi, is one of 10 photographers whose work is being showcased in “”BYTES: Making Pictures with Ones and Zeroes,”” an exhibit at Dinnerware Contemporary Arts, 101 W. Sixth St.

    BYTES is a collection of photography from 10 stylistically distinct digital photographers and is a celebration of the digital photography revolution. The photographers display their prowess with techniques previously unavailable with chemical development.

    “”There are things you can do with digital – you can make a lot more pictures,”” said Betsy Schneider, a photographer featured in the exhibition and a professor of photographic art at ASU. “”You can make pictures and see the results much more quickly. You have infinite possibilities to change them.””

    Robin Dru Germany’s close-up photographs of plant life showcase what digital technology has to offer. The photos have been manipulated so the color scheme consists of neon hues, and the plants look like glow sticks in a raver’s daydream.

    “”I’m getting stuck like (in) traffic,”” Mahmood said of wading through the crowd that filled the historic Steinfeld Warehouse at the artists’ reception Saturday. The modern digital mediums contrasted with the rustic wooden warehouse walls, while the antique floorboards spat splinters at the feet of walking guests. People of all ages braved the cold weather to enjoy the spectacle.

    “”It’s very interesting. It’s very different from other things you see usually. I really like it,”” said Stephen Romagnolo, who drove from Scottsdale to see the exhibit and was especially impressed with Schneider’s work. Her large portrait of a jawbreaker lollipop with a bite out of it illustrated a playful look at an everyday treat and yet another way that digital picture clarity has transformed the face of art.

    Sam Potts, a Tucson photographer, said he came because he is friends with Jesse Burk, a photographer whose stark images of fragile masculinity are almost grotesque in their rawness.

    While the BYTES exhibit is in the main gallery, new works by recent UA photography graduates are in the projects gallery. Speculative parents can see what their children will be doing with their photography education, and fellow students can marvel at the work of their peers.

    “”The opening was really packed, and that was really nice,”” Schneider said. “”It felt like people were actually looking at the work. I think it’s a nice space; I hope it stays open.””

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