COLLECTING
Thomaï Serdari on Fine Arts & Luxury
“Mind’s Eye”
View of the exhibit "Mind's Eye" at Hermès

View of the exhibit “Mind’s Eye” at Hermès. © Thomaï Serdari

What does Rome have to do with contemporary art and contemporary photography in particular? The “Matt Ducklo and Matthew Monteith: Mind’s Eye” exhibit at the Gallery at Hermès reveals the intricate and highly personal relationships that the viewer develops with the artwork. It also reveals the importance of classical education for both contemporary artists.

Matt Ducklo, who received his BA in History from the University of Tennessee (1996) and an MFA in Photography from the Yale School of Art (1999), began photographing blind people in the process of experiencing sculptures through touch at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Tate Modern. Intensely intrigued by the complexity of classical art and its registration through the mind’s eye, Ducklo uses his photographic work to understand how the occipital lobe—the visual processing center in the human brain—is awaken through the act of touch.

Matthew Monteith, who graduated from the General Studies Program at the International Center of Photography (1995) and received an MFA from the Yale School of Art (2004), spent two years in Rome (Abigail Cohen Rome Prize in Photography from the American Academy in Rome, 2008) studying and photographing classical works of art.

Both photographers share an equal passion for history and tradition as well as for the contemplative act of observing other people’s interaction with art. The art displayed at the Gallery at the Madison Avenue boutique of Hermès is a visual ping-pong. It leads the viewer’s gaze to the gaze of the photographed, to the art object implied, to the photographer’s gaze who is capturing the interaction and back. All the while, it traces everyone’s experience on photographic paper. Two dimensional and static, Ducklo’s and Monteith’s photography seems to document layer after layer the artwork’s journey through history.  Which is in fact a subtle way for the artists to engage time as the third dimension of their own work.

Committed to the creative arts, craftsmanship, education, and environmental protection, the Fondation d’entreprise Hermès sponsored and produced this exhibit as one of the many that take place under its auspices.  The Gallery at Hermès will be hosting the “Mind’s Eye” until the 28th of April.

© Thomaï Serdari