JEFF BARK: GOLDENBOY AT HASTED KRAEUTLER
by Amanda Everich
A golden car, luminous set, and a meticulously detailed man make up the newest show at Hasted Kraeutler Gallery. Inspired by the bright and sunny 1980′s California that served as the backdrop for the beginning of his photographic work, Jeff Bark’s Goldenboy portrays a young man dressed up in lavish customs and elaborately decorated sets. Glamorizing the starting point of his inspiration in California, Bark’s shots work to portray a stylish environment that he showcases and keeps under his control. Not leaving the shoot up to the elements, or manipulation of outside forces, it was done in his garage back in New York, giving him free reign to manage every detail of the photographs. While these images portray seemingly relaxed or celebratory scenes; tanning by the sun or the remnants of a party—there is something disturbing in the replication of these natural elements and a looming darkness in the dried plants or scraps of food splashed on a beautiful vase of flowers. Bark questions the importance of authentic appearances in a meaningful way. The answers, unlike the photographs, don’t seem to always be so pretty, nonchalant, or obvious.
The show runs through June 14.