San Francisco’s RayKo Photo Center is hosting a great show I found out about through Dwell magazine. It’s on 428 3rd Street in the SOMA district, on route US80 (which connects to the Bay Bridge). I was impressed to find a comprehensive offering of gallery, classes, darkroom & digital, medium size studio for rent (with assistant available!). What an attractive lobby area. Free to visit, and photo art works to buy.
Well, when I saw selected images from RayKo’s 4th annual International Juried Plastic Camera show and competition on Dwell’s website, and got very excited. Gallery Director Ann Jastrab kindly gives permission to share some of them here. There are 114 pieces in the show, chosen from a stupendous almost 4,000 entries! How did you jury these Ann? She says many entries came by snail mail, and when she asked for high rez digital files for publication, one artist said, “Isn’t a five-second exposure high enough rez?” You get the drift of this very low tech medium. Differently abled in digital aside, Ann says the show always sells a number of prints. So many people came to the opening, it was almost like Herb Ritts in Santa Fe, where would-be patrons had to wait on the sidewalk until others left the gallery and space became available.
Best of Show winner Times Square Preacher by Bob Gervais
Happy users of Holga and Diana toys and a raft of other plastic box cameras still love taking the time to find actual film, and do actual wet printing on actual photo paper. It’s a cult and I love it! The images will knock your socks off, just like they did mine. Once again proof that it’s the photographer behind the camera that makes art, not the most expensive, latest gadgets. A good example of less being more.
White Lies by Bridget Ho
Untitled by Justin Maxon
I say it’s not a backlash to digital, but a reminder that good art starts from good vision, regardless of the medium. If friends poo-poo plastic cameras and say get a Hipstamatic or Camera Bag app for your cell phone, it’s true I like these too, but I’m badly allergic to developers. This show smacks of the real deal, and of course is totally fun. For the other side of the discussion, see my recent article on cell phone photography at:
Untitled by Thomas Michael Alleman
Cowscape by Vicki Reed
Featured photographer Michelle Bates is also teaching a Toy Camera workshop at RayKo, April 23-24. She’s written several books on the subject.
Untitled by Michelle Bates
Also featured is Sam Grant, whose work fools you to think it’s antique in subject and presentation. His image is also on the show invite. Brick and mortar exhibit continues through 4/30/11.
Barca Building by Sam Grant
See more pictures of the installation:
And especially at Lenscratch there’s a large selection and great links:
RayKo Photo Center & Gallery
428 Third Street
San Francisco, CA 94107
HYPERLINK “http://www.raykophoto.com” www.raykophoto.com
Tuesday-Thursday: 10-10 pm
Friday-Sunday: 10-8 pm