Susan Copich + Richard Edelman: Photographs
In this increasingly digital world, the photographs of Susan Copich and Richard Edelman stand out. Both artists are united by a self-referential subject matter. However, the photographers are not using the self as subject as part of a social media aesthetic ("selfie" culture). Instead, the photographers emerge from a classical sense of theater as they both create idealized environments with poised and choreographed models much like a stage set or tableau vivant. In each of their respective artworks, the photographers' role is as actor/director deliberately addressing and engaging the viewer as the audience. However, the resemblance between Copich and Edelman's work ends there as both artists take the premise of theater and explore the theme in different ways. Susan Copich creates an atmosphere that ranges from suburban privilege and its accompanying banalities to the endgame of architectural decay and alienation. The constant of the female actor either dressed as a middle-class accessory or a traumatized victim is a portrait of our own personal collapse cloaked in social symbols and mythology.
Richard Edelman's photographs are more direct but no less dramatic as he positions his subject in their personal environments or, in the case of his self-portraits, his own internal psychology. Edelman's photographs reveal the essence of his subjects in spite of themselves, and that involuntary illumination is the profound moment.
For both artists, the irony of the discordant veneer creates the poetry from the self-portrait. No matter what kind of distance is created by the formalized, staged tableau of the "portrait", this space is undermined by an uncomfortable intimacy which inevitably illuminates the pain of living.
Susan Copich + Richard Edelman: Photographs opens Friday March 2 with a reception for the artists on Saturday March 3, 5-8pm and runs through April 1, 2018.
Artist's Conversation with Susan Copich and Richard Edelman, moderated by Jonathan Gould (author of Can't Buy Me Love and Otis Redding: An Unfinished Life) scheduled for Sunday, March 25, 4:00pm
About Susan Copich:Since graduating Ohio State University (BFA, 1991), Susan Copich has had professional careers as a modern dancer, teacher and actress. Looking to explore new forms of art and self-expression, Copich returned to academia at New York City’s International Center of Photography. While at ICP, Ms.Copich began laying the mental framework for what would become her iconic photography series "Domestic Bliss" and her work is in international private collections and has been exhibited in numerous galleries and museums. Susan Copich lives in Upstate, NY together with her husband and two daughters.
About Richard Edelman:
Richard Edelman is a photography graduate of the Rochester Institute of Technology, with a graduate degree from Pratt Institute. He received fellowships from CAPS (NY Creative Artists Public Service Program) in 1982 and from the Center for Photography at Woodstock in 1985 & 2002. Richard's photographs are in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art (NYC), Canadian Centre for Architecture (Montreal), Brooklyn Museum (NY), Polaroid International Collection (Offenbach), Bibliothèque Nationale (Paris) and Everson Museum of Art (Syracuse, NY). Together with Gay Leonhard, Richard Edelman created the dominant set piece for the San Francisco Opera and the Lyric Opera House, Chicago, productions of Werther. Richard Edelman was a member of the faculty at the New School and has also taught photography at the School of Visual Arts and International Center for Photography, New York City.