Traducere // Translate

twisting and blurring the codes of classical aesthetics, contemporary rhetorically motivated art, and even erotica

Danny Guthrie

Associate Professor
M.F.A. California College of Arts and Crafts

My interests in making these pictures are both political and personal. Certainly subject matter such as this is politically charged. In the last couple of decades many female artists have investigated the personal landscape of their sexuality, as a means to seize control of their own representation within a culture milieu whose imaging of women has a long track record of idealization and exploitation. Taking my cue from this work, through direct and indirect references to classical painting and photography, my intent is to acknowledge these various traditions and debates, twisting and blurring the codes of classical aesthetics, contemporary rhetorically motivated art, and even erotica. In particular, I want the viewer to know I am investigating a history and practice of representation where the roles of viewer and viewed, seducer and object of seduction, are examined and perturbed. In short, I hope to move beyond simplistic notions of viewer and victim, exploring the possibility of a complicated exchange of power that informs the way these pictures come about.
The individuals in these photographs are current and former students, colleagues, friends and acquaintances.  They have worked with me to adopt poses and create scenarios with which they have some level of comfort.  Such collaboration involves considerable risk-taking and trust. The images do not mean I have this or that fantasy about a particular individual or situation, but they do explore emotions that I––and I assume most others––have felt.
Finally, in making this work, it would be evasive not to acknowledge that some of my interests are purely personal. I have reached a not entirely pleasant place in life one might call the fulcrum of middle age, with the balance shifting inexorably towards decrepitude.  As one ages, it is with no small sense of remorse and regret, that one comes to experience the realm of desire, romance, and carnality as existing more in the past than the future.
Danny Guthrie taught for 20 years at Ithaca College and has been at MSU for 13. Along with exhibiting his photography at venues like Light Works in Syracuse, NY, Notre Dame University and Ramapo College of New Jersey professor Guthrie has a significant curatorial profile. He was the gallery director of the Photo Gallery at Ithaca College for 15 years and guest curated several large thematic photography exhibitions at the Handwerker Gallery also at Ithaca College. These included exhibitions on New Color Photography in 1981 and Gender Construction in 1984. At MSU in 1998 Professor Guthrie guest curated a large exhibition on the history of photography at the Kresge Art Museum. He has been a juror for photography competitions in both New York and Michigan. Guthrie’s own work has explored both the natural and urban landscape in the United States and Japan. Since 2008 his work has followed his long curatorial and pedagogical interest in gender construction and representation with his on going project, Portraits and Transgressions. He believes photography is one of the most important of visual disciplines crossing lines of art, commerce, history and personal biography. He is compelled by the tensions within the medium of truth teller vs. fiction, of record maker vs. art object and between photography’s representational and abstract qualities.

Danny Guthrie Portfolio

Adam and Cain, 2010

Pyrolater, 2010
Son Leaves the Father, 2010
 The Proposition II, 2010
Proximity, 2009
Embrace and Sorrow, 2009
Tarquin and Lucretia, 2009
The Swing, 2008
Odalisque, 2008
Trespass, 2008
The Appraisal, 2007
The Voyeur, 2007

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