November 3, 2016 - Steven Kasher Gallery proudly presented Thomas Roma: The Plato’s Dogs Trilogy. This exhibition includes 80 black and white photographs and from three different series, which together serve as a biography of Roma’s Brooklyn. In the Plato’s Dogs photographs, dog shadows take on mythic status. In Higher Ground, shot on the elevated trains that run through the heart of Brooklyn, Roma captures the pockets of in-between-time that fill the lives of commuters. The photographs from The Waters of Our Time, are the most self-reflective of the three bodies of work. The Waters series is deeply personal and spans Roma’s entire career, beginning with a photograph from his first roll of film in 1972. The images are intimate tokens of Roma’s life that feature his wife, son, neighbors and home in Brooklyn. The exhibition launches the publication of the monograph Plato’s Dogs by powerHouse Books.
Reminscent of cave paintings, the distorted and featureless silhouettes in Plato’s Dogs capture the primitive essence of the animal. Printed life-size, the shadows more resemble a mythical beast than man’s best friend. Taken between 2011-2013 in a dog park in Dyker Heights, Brooklyn, Roma describes them as “landscapes with shadows.” Often Roma would look first to the ground, locating a spot composed of roots, patches of trampled grass, rocks and debris. Roma would stick to that spot and try to lure the dogs over to him. A highly creative technical engineer who builds all of his own camera equipment, Roma faced the challenge of how to prevent his shadow from showing up in each frame. He purchased an eight-foot painter’s extension pole. He mounted his camera to the pole and connected an extra long cable release to activate the shutter. As Giancarlo Roma writes in the books’ introduction, Armed with this contraption he alternately looked like a shepherd leading his flock with the pole as his staff, and a madman chasing the dogs around with some sort of homing device.”
Roma takes his photographs to understand how we shape and are shaped by the rituals of daily life. In Higher Ground, Roma portrays the trains’ ambience as well as the rotating cast of characters who ride them. In these candid portraits, the riders in Roma’s photographs seem to be suspended in time, caught in private moments in the most public of places. Whether dreamers or purposeful voyagers, the people in Roma’s Higher Ground remind us that we are all moving in the same direction, the train representing the forward motion of time.
The Waters of our Time, first published in 2014, was concieved as an homage to Roy DeCarava and Langston Hughes’ book The Sweet Flypaper of Life published in 1955. This book, a joint effort between Roma and his son Giancarlo, includes 142 meticulously sequenced photographs which act as a visual biography of the artist. Roma invited his son Giancarlo to reflect on his photographs and write a text to accompany the images. The resulting narrative is a first-person recollection in the voice of an older woman who has spent her life in Brooklyn, like Roma himself.
Plato's Dogs went on press at Grafiche SiZ in Verona this July.
Look for a fall release from powerHouse Books!
CLICK <HERE> TO ORDER THE BOOK!
1. The Advocate - "PHOTOS : Cruising in the Vale of Cashmere" - Sept 23, 2015
2. The New York Times - "The Men of the Vale" - Oct 11, 2015
3. Prospect: A Year In the Park - "Meeting the Men of the Vale" - Oct 12, 2015
4. Shutter Hub, UK - "Steven Kasher Gallery, Thomas Roma" - Oct 13, 2015
5. Positive - "Thomas Roma in the Vale of Cashmere" by Eleonora Milner - Oct 15, 2015
6. The Guardian - "Prospect Park in Pictures, The Vale of Cashmere" - Oct 16, 2015
7. Yahoo News - "Meeting Ground, In the Vale of Cashmere" - Oct 16, 2015
8. Hyperallergic - "Hidden World of Gay Cruising" by Carey Dunne - Oct 20, 2015
9. Crave - "Cashmere" by Sara Rosen - Oct 22, 2015
10. F-Stop - "Thomas Roma @ Steven Kasher" - Oct 23, 2015
11. Soule LGBT - "Cashmere" by Cameran James - Oct 26, 2015
12. Man in Town - "In the Vale of Cashmere Opens at Steven Kasher" - Oct 29, 2015
13. Flavorwire - "Photograph the Cruising Culture of Prospect Park" by Moze Halperin - Oct 29, 2015
14. The Huffington Post - "These Beautiful Photogs Capture an Unexpected Place" by James Michael Nichols - Oct 29, 2015
15. VICE - "Thomas Roma's Beautiful Photogs of a Brooklyn Gay Cruising Ground" by Matt Leifheit - Oct 29, 2015
16. Bedford & Bowery - "Inside the Vale of Cashmere" by Nicole Disser - Oct 30, 2015
17. Columbia Spectator - "Thomas Roma to Exhibit New WOrk Documenting Gay, Black Male Lives" by Tanya Zeif - Nov 11, 2015
18. Metro NY - "A Photographer Captures a Hidden World" by Raquel Laneri - Nov 4, 2015
19. VICE Brasil - "Lindas Fotos de Thomas Roma" de un Parque de Cruising" by Matt Leifheit - Nov 9, 2015
20. Collector Daily - "Thomas Roma In the Vale of Cashmere at the Steven Kasher Gallery" by Richard Woodward - Nov 10, 2015
21. Slate - "Searching in the Shadows" by Miz Cracker - Nov 12, 2015
22. American Suburb X - "Roma's Images Dissappoint any prudish or salacious Imagination" by Owen Campbell - Nov 13, 2015
23. Blue & White Columbia - "One Shot - They're Dead" by Virginia Fu - Nov 15, 2015
24. The Wall Street Journal - "Thomas Roma in an Area of Prospect Park" by William Meyers - Nov 15, 2015
25. Feature Shoot - "Thomas Roma In the Vale of Cashmere" by Efrem Zelony-Mindell - Nove 21, 2015
26. aCurator - "Thomas Roma: In the Vale of Cashmere" - Nov 21, 2015
27. Autre - "In the Veil of Cashmere: Poet and Photographer Thomas Roma Takes Tender Pictures" - Nov 22, 2015
28. PDN Photo District News - "Thomas Roma: In the Vale of Cashmere" - Nov 22, 2015
29. Art Daily - "Exhibition at Steven Kasher Gallery Present Portraits Taken in a Secluded Section of Prospect Park" - Nov 27, 2015
30. Bay Area Reporter - "Into the woods" by Jim Piechota - Dec 17, 2015
31. Medium Vantage - "Loving Portraits of Gay Black Men" by Pete Brook - Dec 20, 2015
32. The New Yorker - "Thomas Roma" by Vince Aletti - Dec 21, 2015
33. Bedford & Bowery - "Hear It Straight from Thomas Roma" by Nicole Disser - Dec 22, 2015
34. Vantage - "The Best Six Photobooks of 2015" - Dec 22, 2015
35. Lens Culture - "Photobooks of the Year - Selection by a Global Panel of Photobook Experts" - Jan 1, 2016
36. ZUM - Photo Magazine out of Brasil - "Muita coisa precisa ficar implícita: uma entrevista com Thomas Roma" - Jan 4, 2016
REVOGO Curated by Thomas Roma
Opened on October 10, 2015 at CAIXA Cultural in São Paulo - RUNNING THRU December 6, 2015
Individually, the photographs of “Revogo,” like all of the best photographs, ask more questions than they answer. Seen together, they create an intense and telling portrait of a place in time made by a brilliant photographer of his country. During the three years André Liohn spent photographing the people and neighborhoods of Brazil, he brought the same fearlessness of his well-known and lauded conflict photography to a very personal mission. Focusing his unflinching attention close to home, he draws the viewer through a narrative that at once retains his signature bluntness, exposing the despair of the current state, and expresses a nuanced compassion and tenderness that lays bare his understanding of and attachment to the place. In creating this new, powerful body of work, Liohn, free of the constraint of short form photojournalism, shares his vision of contemporary Brazil over an extended group of photographs, allowing the viewer to experience the depth and complexity of his subject and his creative ability. With these sixty extraordinary images, André Liohn is asking us to question and ultimately revoke the forces that create the circumstances within them, but really he is demanding that the viewer accept and engage with the humanity so passionately and beautifully described. - Thomas Roma
Click here to listen to Hillary Frank's Interview with Thomas and Giancarlo Roma.
If you want to hear the longer version of the interview, click here to go to Hillary Frank's podcast "The Shortest Longest Time."
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A selection from what will be on display in Rome this fall at Museo D'Arte Contemporanea Roma for the FOTOGRAFIA Festivale Internazionale 2014
"Though our dogs often seem to love us sapiens even better than we love each other, their other side is prehistoric and feral. There they
are spoor-nuzzlers, tongue-raiders, offal-eaters, parasites, terrorists. What a sharp idea Thomas Roma has had, don’t you think? — that
we should see as much bandit dog-spirit in their shadows as in their faces or their clever bodies. Maybe more. It’s a notion almost as
doggish as the mutts themselves." - Leo Rubinfien