Two solo exhibitions – Dylan Vitone’s Leisure and Richard Gilles’ Towers – open Saturday, January 12th at Bergamot Station’s dnj Gallery; a reception for the exhibits, both of which run through February 23rd, will take place from 6PM to 8PM on the 12th. The main gallery will feature Leisure; Gallery II will display Towers. These are both artists’ third solo exhibitions at dnj Gallery.
Leisure includes work from Vitone’s Yellowstone and Rutland projects. In Yellowstone, Vitone investigates modern society’s interaction with nature, capturing the throngs of tourists who flock to the historic park. In contrast, in the Rutland project, Vitone explores less mainstream pursuits at Skatopia in southern Ohio. Photographing the skate enthusiasts who camp there, Vitone looks beyond the tough exterior of youth counterculture to find an underlying beauty and naïveté. Together, the projects form a dialogue about the role of leisure in American society.
As with his earlier series, Vitone stitches together several images to create a nearly 360-degree view, which, as he states, “allows [him] to show simultaneously details and relationships at multiple spacial and perceptual levels….” The LA Times says of Vitone, “Working in the tradition of street photographers and social anthropologists such as Milton Rogovin and Bruce Davidson, Vitone makes extended portraits of communities through intimate observations of theirm everyday rituals.”
Gilles‘ Towers series in Gallery II captures pairs of vertical structures set against stark panoramas with ample skies and low horizons. He views the towers as “sentries standing watch over the landscape” and, with Google Maps to help him scout locations across the United States (including many in California and Nevada), is meticulous about adhering to the rigid formula of pairs. Towers is a continuation of Gilles’ ongoing exploration of the unnoticed and overlooked, and is an invitation to consider both the condition of the terrain and the symbolism of the structures occupying it.
Bergamot Station J1, 2525 Michigan Avenue, Santa Monica, CA 90404