LOS ANGELES, CA.- Thomas Paul Fine Art
presents the photographic work of John Reiff Williams in the show: The Edge of Collapse.
The gallery debuts fifty-four photographs by Williams which challenge our understanding of what the photographic medium is and what it is not. Williams work presents us with photographic observations of humanity that covey a visceral emotional resonance to the viewer. Focusing on social settings such as La Jolla Beach or Hollywood Boulevard, and Mexico City, Williams work explores the shifting perspectives occurring in-between the frozen moments photography was created to capture. Through his unique use of digital exploration, mutations and interpretations, Williams reveals the motion, activity and chaos that we all experience in our ever accelerating world.
In his photographs, Williams is on a constant search for what he does not know, and part of his search relies on the chance discovery of a recombination of elements through continuous play. This search reveals images to us which engage our curiosity and explore realms beyond the photographic quest for perfection and specific clarity. Williams process relies on a dynamic sense of flux existing between the world and its inhabitants. He extracts his subjects from a society in perpetual motion but responds with a camera and point of view that is also in motion and ever-changing. This technique of employing chance draws from a palette of gesture, motion, shape and time to piece together and redefine the sculptural qualities of form and color. This approach provides his viewer with portraits and images-through-time, which act as multidimensional reveals of our everyday life.
His photographic remnants of our society become both discoveries of catastrophe and the coalescence of memory and motion. Acting as photographic combines of time, space and gesture, the work presents us with a depiction of our world that is both new in form and familiar in spirit. Each image invokes a subjective relationship between the viewer and Williams cues and glimpses into our societal experience. His work is not about the documentation of objects, capturing frozen moments, or bombarding his viewer with literal figurative details. Instead, Williams creates images which are evocative of questions, which reflect our collective dreams, fears and imaginations, and which allude to something inexplicable. They are explorations of a world in the midst of exploring itselfthey are images of our world on the edge of collapse.
Williams studied closely under Jack Welpott and Don Worth at SF State and worked closely with Ruth Bernhard in portfolio production and as a teaching assistant to Al Weber during the early stages of his career. While on full scholarship at USC, Williams also taught photography as part of his curriculum. Williams work has been reproduced in various publications including Flatiron: A Photographic History of the World's First Steel Frame Skyscraper, 1901-1990.