The Billboard Papers: Photographs by Joel Grey
Exhibition: September 12th – October 19th
Opening Reception and Booksigning: September 12th, 6:00-8:00 pm
Steven Kasher Gallery is honored to present Joel Grey: The Billboard Papers, 10 large-scale color photographs of torn and decaying billboards from the streets of New York by the award-winning actor and photographer Joel Grey. The show coincides with the release of The Billboard Papers (Pointed Leaf Press, 2013), Joel Grey’s fourth photographic monograph. The photographs resemble paper collages, revealing dramatic and unexpected layers of the billboards’ past. As Ross Bleckner writes in the preface: ”This is Grey’s signature theme: the ephemeral and overlooked evidence of urban development and decay. These photographs are tapestries of embedded memories, constantly fleeting and subject to change, or demolition, or renewal.”
Grey received critical acclaim for his mobile phone images with the release of his groundbreaking book, 1.3: Images from My Phone (powerHouse Books, 2009). His ability to create classically beautiful photographs with the most quotidian of cameras is showcased again in The Billboard Papers. Using an iPhone 5, Grey takes what was fragmented and discarded and turns it into a holistic set of formal and psychological relationships.
Bleckner writes: “Identities seem to vaporize into the geometry of the surrounding architecture. Verticals, horizontals, illustrations, portraiture, abstract painting, and advertising all circulate in and out of attention like moments playing out their usefulness as they fade into memory and become reincarnated. As beautiful and as nuanced as these images are, they never forget where they came from, the vernacular of the street. What once advertised desire has now become decoupage, the fragmented leftovers of urban life. In his everyday way of looking closely at life, Grey finds special moments that make the worn-out beautiful again, and that gives the discarded grace.”
In his genre-spanning career, Grey has spent more than 50 years keeping his eyes open and hungry, and his mind curious. Grey’s work has been the subject of solo shows in New York, Los Angeles, and Berlin. His photographs are part of the permanent collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art and the New York Public Library.
The Billboard Papers, Grey’s fourth book collaboration with acclaimed designer Sam Shahid, features an introduction by Grey and a preface by American artist Ross Bleckner.
Joel Grey: The Billboard Papers will be on view September 12th through October 19th, 2013. Steven Kasher Gallery is located at 521 W. 23rd St., New York, NY 10011. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 11 AM to 6 PM.
For images, more information about the exhibition, and all other inquiries, please contact Christiona Owen, 212 966 3978, firstname.lastname@example.org,