A photo from the series called “Close”, by New York artist Julianne Swartz, which I spotted at the Mixed Greens booth at the recent Volta art fair. (Click on the image to see it in proper detail.) I’m more used to thinking of Swartz as a sound and installation artist – I Daily Pic’d her sound work on the High Line – but her “Close” photos are great. They are built around a simple premise: Swartz suspends a drop of water from her finger, then photographs the scene refracted through it. What I like best about them is the way they collapse viewer and viewed, Swartz and the world outside her. That’s because Swartz’s tiny water-lens is tightly linked to her presence and body, but it also draws in what’s beyond – in this case, her daughter Alma.
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