Michael Brakke

Marianne Deson Gallery

Combinations of photography with painting seem to multiply daily. Michael Brakke’s photo-paintings differentiate between the two media; their formal raison d-être seems to reside in that difference and in the possibility for reversals. In an earlier series, the 6-foot, 6-inch-tall artist pitted photographs of himself against drawings of a tall black water tower—both a personal emblem and what Jack Burnham has called an icon of the prairie. In this group the drawn tower remains in adversarial juxtaposition with richly orchestrated black and white photographic panels.

The group of large panels can be read as a kind of sequential drama achieved by complex layerings of images made by photographing projected slides. Brakke sets the scene by photographing himself against and in the folds of a billowing tent dramatically lit by strobes. In their expressionistic turmoil of gestures, lines, and

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