“Illumination” at Jackson Junge Gallery


Photography by Kavan Geary

Opening Reception:  Friday, May 4, 6pm – 9pm at Jackson Junge Gallery

Exhibit Duration: May 4 – July 1, 2012

“Illumination”, a special exhibit at Jackson Junge Gallery, 1389 N. Milwaukee Ave in Chicago, features the uniquely posed and illuminated photography of Kavan Geary.  The ability to contain and utilize light in Geary’s work was inspired initially by classical painting, where cleverly layered translucent glazes give the appearance of being lit from behind.  Geary adapted this idea to photography, and quite literally, has made light his tool.  Light passes through the petals of flowers, glancing off their leaves and streaking across a stark background.  The result is a glowing, ethereal image.  In other instances light reflecting from the wings of a floating butterfly is ablaze in a trail of color imprinting its path.  “The goal is not so much to create photographs, as to create colorful paintings using natural elements as the paint and light as the brush,” says Geary.  “The camera becomes the canvas that records what I see.”  

In that vein, Geary has replaced the more traditional technique of photographs on paper with using actual canvas.   As an artist, he perceives many advantages to this adaptation.  Not only does it eliminate the problem of reflections from glass overlays, but it also gives his work added texture, in addition to enriching and deepening the colors.

Geary has employed a submersion technique for his new series of photographs that he calls his “Gothic Light” collection.  “Illumination”, is comprised primarily of these images, in which his floral subjects appear suspended in liquid and light.  With his photo lens also submerged, he captures unique characteristics of flowers placed in an environment that slightly alters the behavior of each petal and leaf.   

Geary’s choice of subject matter comes from the natural world.  His artistic expression is invoked from his subjects whether they are shot outdoors, or brought into the studio.  His photographs convey the same curiosity that exploring nature itself entails.   The compilation of light and nature transports the viewer to the calm, rejuvenated state of mind that Geary explains nature induces in him.

As the advent of spring transforms into summer, this exhibit at Jackson Junge Gallery captures moments of color and light as seen through the lens of Kavan Geary.  The exhibit runs from May 4 thru July 1, 2012. An opening reception with the artist is scheduled for the evening of Friday, May 4 from 6-9pm.  Reception and exhibit are free to the public.

The Jackson Junge Gallery features the work of Laura Lee Junge and other contemporary Chicago artists. 

Exhibit Highlights

“Calla Lilies”,  Three figures of white lean into light beams that grace the petals of the calla lilies.  The dark backdrop adds to the personification of the flowers as the viewer is enticed to wonder how and why these figures are surrounded by darkness but seem to have found their salvation.


“Paper Kite”,  A moment of movement is cleverly captured as the fluttering of a butterfly’s wings becomes a stroke, not unlike that of a paintbrush, across the colorful background of a forest. 


“Mums”,   In a setting of layered colorful light, three mums proudly present themselves in the foreground of a misty environment.  The yellow of their petals seems to signify the vibrancy and energy they contain while dwelling in a still and serene space.


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