Statement of Steve Poleskie


Photography showed something that was beautiful about the world: that there was a oneness between light and dark. And in any rich photograph, the way the two are the same and different is an essential thing. Photography does dramatize light and shade, softness and sharpness, foreground and background; does dramatize where drama is: that is, in the surfaces, the depths, the relations of things.
            —Eli Siegel, “The Dramatic Opposites in Photography”

    People have asked me if I “set up” the objects on the kitchen table in my photographs. The answer is yes and no. More often than not there is already a vase of flowers on the table put there by my wife, Jeanne. She loves flowers, and cuts them in the summer, or buys them when there are none growing in the yard.

     As a great deal of our life takes place in the kitchen, the table becomes cluttered much too easily: unread mail, books, fruit to be eaten, a saltcellar, glasses, things that are plain, but also beautiful. If the light comes around just right I will take some photos.

     It must be bright, but at the same time dark. The time available is very limited, and varies with the season. And so there is drama: the drama in the things themselves, and the drama in the activity of their capture. I hover around rapidly taking photographs, trying different angles and compositions, near and far, front and back, peering up and looking down. Sometimes, feeling almost like an interloper, I might change the relationship of the objects slightly. All too soon the sun has moved on.

     If all these disparate elements, in a sense the opposites, have come together in a oneness, I have a picture; if not I must wait for the next sunny day.

                                                                                                       —SP, Ithaca, 2009

Terrain Gallery - 141 Greene Street - New York, NY 10012 - 212-777-4490