The Ministry of Artistic Affairs
Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Opening this Thursday at Gering & Lopez Gallery, David Levinthal presents his second solo exhibition of new photography at the gallery, titled "Attack of the Bricks: Star Wars."

Familiar Star Wars characters are the subjects of Levinthal’s most recent series. However, these epic visages are composed of Legos, as Levinthal has in his signature fashion transformed these miniature action figures into powerful action heroes. These photos mimic the cinematic style of the Lucas films, transforming tiny bricks into legendary, larger-than-life Sci-Fi stars.

Contrast is central to this series, as the figures are placed in front of monochromatic black backgrounds. The lighting is sharp, resulting in even more intimidating intergalactic machines, weapons, and their famed operators. The black and white walls of the exhibition’s installation further emphasize this contrast. Levinthal's standard use of a narrow depth of field, soft focus, and the photographic trope of enlargement seen in his close-up shots bring a sense of life to the objects in the foreground. However, he does not attempt to completely remove all traces of the Lego aesthetic, allowing his viewers to see what is at play in his creation and representation of “outer space.” The photos showcase the humanized drama such toys have to offer to the imaginative.

Moving away from Polaroids, these photographs are pigment prints on Hahnemule Fine Art Photo paper. Since 2007, Levinthal has been shooting with his Hasselblad H1 fitted with a digital Leaf back. This enables him to view the shots as he is working on each one, perfecting it immediately to best fit his vision. Then the digital files are processed and he begins making proofs in the studio. In some ways, it is very similar to Levinthal’s process at the Polaroid studio because he is able to shoot, see the photograph immediately, and then have full control over the photographic print that is made onsite.

David Levinthal was born in San Francisco and received his MFA in Photography from Yale University. He has had numerous solo and group exhibitions at institutions including the Whitney Museum of American Art, NY; the San Jose Museum of Art, CA; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, CA; Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, Japan; the Museum of Modern Art, NY; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, CA; Galleria d'Arte Moderna, Bologna, Italy; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY; Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona, Spain; Neues Museum Weserburg Bremen, Germany; and the Fotomuseum Winterthur, Zurich, Switzerland, among others. His work is featured in many public collections, including the Art Institute of Chicago, IL; The Brooklyn Museum of Art, NY; Centre Pompidou, Paris, France; the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; the International Center of Photography, NY; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY; the Museum of Modern Art, NY; the Whitney Museum of American Art, NY; and the Polaroid Collection, MA.

David Levinthal
"Attack of the Bricks: Star Wars"
Gering & Lopez Gallery
750 Fifth Avenue, New York City
September 8 - October 22, 2011
Opening Reception for the Artist, September 8 from 6-9pm

Older works by Levinthal: