Brian Riley - Stillness Series (Daffodils)
Brian Riley
Stillness Series (Daffodils)
Archival Digital Chromogenic Photograph
2007, Printed 2008
28 x 37 1/2 inches

Signed, dated printed and # 1/5 on mount verso.

Brian Riley - Stillness Series (Datura and moss on my grandmother’s table)
Brian Riley
Stillness Series (Datura and moss on my grandmother’s table)
Archival Digital Chromogenic Photograph
2006, Printed 2008
27 1/4 x 18 inches

Signed, dated printed and # 1/5 on mount verso.

Brian Riley - Stillness Series (Dreaming of Santa Fe)
Brian Riley
Stillness Series (Dreaming of Santa Fe)
Archival Digital Chromogenic Photograph
2008, Printed 2008
27 1/4 x 18 inches

Signed, dated printed and # 1/5 on mount verso.

Brian Riley - Stillness Series (Golden Bridge)
Brian Riley
Stillness Series (Golden Bridge)
Archival Digital Chromogenic Photograph
2008, Printed 2008
28 x 37 1/2 inches

Signed, dated printed and # 1/5 on mount verso.

Brian Riley - Stillness Series (Green Tea, London Plane and Ginseng)
Brian Riley
Stillness Series (Green Tea, London Plane and Ginseng)
Archival Digital Chromogenic Photograph
2008, Printed 2008
27 1/4 x 18 inches

Signed, dated printed and # 1/5 on mount verso.

Brian Riley - Stillness Series (Looking inside)
Brian Riley
Stillness Series (Looking inside)
Archival Digital Chromogenic Photograph
2008, Printed 2008
28 x 37 1/2 inches

Signed, dated printed and # 1/5 on mount verso.

Brian Riley - Stillness Series (Morning Glory)
Brian Riley
Stillness Series (Morning Glory)
Archival Digital Chromogenic Photograph
2006, Printed 2008
37 1/2 x 28 inches

Signed, dated printed and # 1/5 on mount verso.

Brian Riley - Stillness Series (Sleeping in the Adirondacks)
Brian Riley
Stillness Series (Sleeping in the Adirondacks)
Archival Digital Chromogenic Photograph
2006, Printed 2008
27 1/4 x 18 inches

Signed, dated printed and # 1/5 on mount verso.

Brian Riley - Stillness Series (Sticks and Stones on Christopher Street)
Brian Riley
Stillness Series (Sticks and Stones on Christopher Street)
Archival Digital Chromogenic Photograph
2006, Printed 2008
27 1/4 x 18 inches

Signed, dated printed and # 1/5 on mount verso.

Brian Riley - Stillness Series (Visiting Faith)
Brian Riley
Stillness Series (Visiting Faith)
Archival Digital Chromogenic Photograph
2008, Printed 2008
28 x 37 1/2 inches

Signed, dated printed and # 1/5 on mount verso.

Cabinet of Curiosities

The photographic explorations of Jo Whaley and Brian Riley have many similarities in their careful, aesthetic celebration of phenomena from the natural world. Both photographers emphasize formal composition and use controlled studio lighting to create a near 3 dimensional luminosity in their work. It is little surprise that Whaley and Riley began their careers as painters. Significantly, they share a fascination with components from the natural world. Their individual selection and organization of imagery is reminiscent of 18th century cabinets of curiosities filled with specimens and visual strangeness. There is a marriage in both of their works between the keen penetrating vision of a scientist and the free ranging beauty and imagination of an artist. However, the specific elements from the world's they present, as well as their philosophic goals are very different. Jo Whaley writes, “My approach to photography is to take elements from nature and urban culture and to re-contextualize them on the proscenium stage of the still life.” She explains her interest in her subject, “My inspiration comes directly from my study of the insect world with its strategies of mimicry, camouflage, and metamorphosis. In an image if you can show that one object echoes another visually, then subconsciously the viewer equates the two in their mind, leading to new interpretations.” Whaley transforms the scientific world of the insects into artistic creations through a staging of her subjects, complete with a theatrical-like backdrop in which she sets her selections of insects (and other natural elements) against. She began her career by painting backdrops and sets for Ballets and Operas. She writes that, “Artifice and illusion are part of the theatrical tradition that fuses the imaginary with the real and I have incorporated this practice into photography.” Earlier works of Jo Whaley dealt with the themes of vanitas and nature (and human) mortality and impermanence. All life is fleeting, transformed and changed through the passing of time. Jo Whaley has exhibited in U.S., Europe and Japan for over 25 years. Many museums hold her work. She is the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Award. She is scheduled to open a one-person exhibit, “The Theater of Insects” at the National Academy of Sciences, Washington, D.C. She has just had a monograph of her work published by Chronicle Books.