DOUBLE TAKE: Keith Sharp’s doctored photos fool the eye slowly in “Seeing Through” at 3rd Street Gallery.
+ 3rd Street Gallery
Thank god Keith Sharp’s photographs have changed.
In past years, the trompe l’oeil artist would fuse together man-made objects and natural scenes, which left the viewer questioning what was what. Grasses grew behind windows, and curtains morphed into mountains. It was delightfully trippy. The downside is that photographs were sometimes more obvious than mysterious.
That all changed with Sharp’s new exhibit, “Seeing Through.” His work will still make you do a double take, only now it’ll be at a much slower rate. He plays with light, shadows and color to tweak the viewer’s perception. Cars and buildings appear to be see-through. Trees seem to break the laws of physics.
“In this most recent series, I have reworked and layered images in an attempt to make objects seem transparent,” he says in an artist’s statement. “In these photographs it appears as if the skies and trees around and behind these buildings, cars, fences and walls go right through those objects.”
Jean Burdick is exhibiting her paintings and drawings alongside Sharp in the show “Shared Origins.” She, too, mashes together disparate objects. She uses photographs of flora from her treks through America’s National Park system for inspiration, as well as pictures from the evolutionary sciences. The textured images, which look like cellular patterns, are intended to speak to a higher truth.
“Elements of nature are magnified, overlapped and obscured, reflecting the continual growth and change, which is the touchstone of the natural world,” she says in a statement.
Through Dec. 29, opens Fri., Dec. 6, 5 p.m., 58 N. Second St., 215-625-0993, 3rdstreetgallery.com.
+ Snyderman-Works Galleries
When Karen Shapiro returned to the ceramics world after a stint as a pastry chef, she could no longer make the flawless abstract sculptures on which she once prided herself. Thankfully, Shapiro looked around her home and found dozens of other items worthy of sculpting: Old Bay containers, tuna cans, mayonnaise jars and Heineken bottles, to name a few.
“Now I find myself jumping around from vegetables to nail polish bottles and lipsticks, to crayons and on and on,” she said in a statement. “The excitement of reaching into a red-hot environment with tongs, of the flaming bucket, even the choking smoke, and finding results I never dreamt of — always changing, always so much to learn — has given me back an enormous energy.”
Through Jan. 18, opens Fri., Dec. 6, 5 p.m., 303 Cherry St., 215-238-9576, snyderman-works.com.
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