Unaided by digital image manipulation, Erica Baum finds the extraordinary in the most mundane materials and fixes fleeting moments for posterity. For the series “The Naked Eye,” she photographed the fanned pages of mass-market paperback books, transforming text and image fragments into a chance-based visual poetry. For example, Art and Shampoo evoke enigmatic narratives related to fine art and voyeurism, but the works are derived from very literal and very mundane photographic source material: an image of Art Garfunkel and a frame from the movie Shampoo featuring Goldie Hawn. Baum’s keen aesthetic sensibility makes it difficult to discern between expectation and reality, or between poetics and pop culture.
Label from The Swindle: Art Between Seeing and Believing, May 26–October 28, 2018