Scott Edwards Gallery is discreetly drawing its shutters as 10 Louisiana based photographers explore the human body’s shape and form in the upcoming photographic exhibit “Behind Closed Shutters.”
“Our new exhibit of fine art nude photography will display mainly shape and form studies, nude portraiture, old fashioned portraiture and self portraits,” said Scott Edwards, owner of Scott Edwards Gallery.
Edwards is curating 10 photographers and their interpretations and perceptions of the human body in over 100 beautifully crafted images, all of which will be on display in the front gallery until October.
“Nude is a really basic subject for artists and photographers. We are all interested in the human body; to express that through photos seems to be a very natural thing,” said Jason Kruppa, one of the 10 photographers exhibiting.
The gallery’s shutters, Edwards says, will be closed for the entirety of the show to prevent children wandering in.
Only a few steps off of Frenchmen Street, the gallery is open from Thursday to Monday from 7 p.m. to midnight. The “Behind Closed Shutters” exhibit’s opening reception is this Saturday at 7 p.m.
“My primary focus is using the body in abstract and unusual ways,” Kruppa said. “They’re not sexualized images; it is more of what can we do with the body in interesting and different ways.”
Kruppa captures the lines and shapes of dancers, performers, and yoga practitioners posing on a white backdrop.
“I like the effect of someone seeing something where they know it is the human body but it is an odd shape. So I use a lot of dancers, performers and yoga practitioners because they are very aware of their bodies, they are very flexible and are willing to experiment and try different poses,” Kruppa said.
Each of the 10 photographers will have his or her own space to display six to 10 images in the front gallery.
Meanwhile, taking another tack, the back gallery showcases 15 large portraits of musicians and artists in “One Foot in the Swamp,” an exhibit by photographer Zack Smith.
Smith’s exhibit features images originating in rare moments while shooting promotional projects with artists like Lil’ Wayne, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Seth Walker and Empress Hotel for album cover or electronic press kits.
“A lot of these moments are in the middle of a four-hour or eight-hour shoot. None of these have been the official cover or the EPK; these are the shots I take for me,” said Smith. “It is a different level of collaboration between the photographer and the artist; it is a little slice of my vision with their vision.”
The contrast in the two concurrent exhibits reflects Edwards’ desire to showcase local talent in the photographic realm.
“I do five shows a year, so I am always trying to do something a little bit different, to show the different sides of the medium,” Edwards said.
A New Orleans transplant from Dallas, Edwards has developed a huge appreciation for local talent.
“This gallery is a space that specializes in showcasing New Orleans and Louisiana based photography. There is a plethora of work to show, but not many galleries are doing it. We also specialize in artists that are at the beginning of their career, or mid level artists,” Edwards said.
Scott Edwards Gallery opened three years ago, inspired by local photographer David Richmond, who ran a gallery on Oak Street for photographer Michael P. Smith prior to Hurricane Katrina.
“I was always inspired by what David was trying to do with that space. Prior to that, David did the New Orleans Photo Exchange, which was also a big inspiration to me opening this space,” Edwards said.
The gallery has come to benefit photographers like Jason Kruppa and Zack Smith, who can, outside of their normal commercial work, display fine art and creative work.
“I knew when I opened the place I would never want for more to show because there is just so much out there that really deserves to be showcased,” Edwards said.