Thursday, June 10, 2010

Can Erotic Be Untitled?

It's a mystery

A title adds context to a work. It gives a clue to the work's content. Or it can lead you in a completely different direction.

When you see that a work is "Untitled," that means you are on your own.

And so each of Richard Keo's photographs in the show here called "Ex Eau Set," which closes Saturday, is untitled and so each must be taken in, and regarded, and contemplated and appreciated divorced from any help that the maker might offer.

In the petit salon, a series of a little toy boat slowly sinking. The boat's base is red, the sail is white, the water a bright turquoise blue. The progression into the void is what first attracted me to his work. And made me dream.

The most numerous images are in a series that document a little girl playing on the beach. She is between child and teenager and her cavorting in the waves and posing on a chair or with a surfboard illustrates a freedom and liberty that this young age embodies. It is all innocence and movement.

But after two weeks of living with these images, it is the erotic series, that we hung in my bedroom, that I realize are the "pièces de résistance." (I just may take them out of the bedroom and put them in a more prominent position.) A beautiful blonde, with her arms above her head, tied with cord so her left breast is supported by the rope. A black and white image of a dark-haired beauty on an overstuffed chair: her limbs are at angles, and her stocking top graphically delineates her thigh.

The very beautiful model for this photo, with the very beautiful name of Océanne, assisted Richard in hanging the show and attended the vernissage, wearing the eroticism lightly, accepting attention to her beauty in a dreamy way, not saying too much, except with her eyes, guarding the mystery, and in a certain sense, adding her own style of "Untitled" to her image.

"Ex Eau Set" limited edition numeric prints by Richard Keo, prices on request.

Closing party cocktail this Saturday, June 12th. Please email for details:

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