Mark Wyse is a terrific photographer, an inspiring teacher, and someone who loves to twist ideas like rope. I had the pleasure of showing his large scale photographs of luxury houses in Palos Verdes two years ago – pictures that still resonate greatly for the way they juggle objective large-format color with a subtly subjective point of view.
Talk to Mark about them though and they are as much about “allowing a slippage to occur between the compelling sensation of deep space and their awareness of the photographic surface” as they are about the light and topography of Southern California.
Wyse was recently asked to curate a show by his gallery, Wallspace, but realized there would be problems getting the material he wanted. So in an inspired gesture, he decided to cut into the photography books he owned and show the very objects he desired and that had formed much of his thinking about photography. Each image was carefully chosen and installed in relation the other pictures to reveal a specific theme or idea. The work is available only as a singular installation.
I have long been a proponent of framing whatever looks good to you, regardless of its “originality” or value and I was pleased to see someone doing this not just at home, but in a gallery setting. Wyse’s selections are flawless, but more importantly they look darn good (and very like the originals) with their perfectly matching white frames all hung in a row. If you’re concerned about mutilating a book in the name of decorating, Wyse has provided a failsafe alibi – it’s not cheap or tacky, it’s a legitimate (and multi-layered) conceptual act.