PRINT May 2016

Roe Ethridge

Roe Ethridge, Chanel Necklace for Gentlewoman, 2014, C-print, 34 3/8 × 51 3/8".

IT SEEMS TO ME that the two worlds of art photography and commercial photography are like parallel universes. Both go through their ruthless cycles, aware of each other but too busy with their own internal battles to look outward. There are many exceptions—instances where the universes do intersect—and I am grateful for those. But I think there are functional differences between the fields that may never be resolved.

Some of these differences are actually important to me, and I would hate to see them disappear. For example, within the commercial image there is generally an understood edge or boundary, a set of rules. But within that space, there’s a kind of play that can happen. There’s something mercenary in the fact that the images have to happen that day. We are not returning to the “rental atelier” next week to try again. It has to happen today. That pressure is

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