In this Gessohead post Ellyn Weiss profiles photographer Clarke Bedford, and describes his most recent exhibit at the Hillyer Art Space. Here is an excerpt:
“Clarke Bedford is a conflicted man, but that only became apparent well into his recent appearance with curator Laura Roulet, at Salon Contra, Pink Line Project’s series of intimate artist/art lover interactions. Bedford invents histories, sometimes beginning with a real life (General William Tecumseh Sherman, e.g.) and reimagining the possibilities, embellishing, embroidering, enlarging, filling in the blanks. Sometimes he creates whole lives, as in F.D. Kalley, “Prince of the American Renaissance.” And he does so quite joyfully and without restraint.
Bedford, whose day job is as conservator of Paintings and Mixed Media Objects as the Hirshhorn, sees more than his share of the underbelly of the contemporary art world, particularly in its haute conceptual manifestations. His daily life is, therefore, full to bursting with possibilities for parody and he plows with great gusto in those fields. Bedford is smart, funny, self-deprecating and really fun to spend an evening with.
His current installation at Hillyer Art Place, “Wundergarten: Sa[l]vaging the Family Archive”, is a bit different, however, hence the tinge of ambivalence I detected. These are, or were, people that Bedford knew, a family whose extensive archive of photographs were put out on the street as refuse and were salvaged by Bedford.”
Image in the post is of some works in Bedford’s Wundergarten exhibit, from Weiss’s post.