NEW INDUSTRY ARTS
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Written by Miranda Lash
Woodpecker (2007) by photographer Jeff Bark.
Eerie and brooding, the new Woodpecker series by Jeff Bark stretches the definition of romanticism to reference both the emotive paintings of centuries past, and the modern struggle with post-industrial malaise. Situated in a teenage wasteland that hovers between nature and urban decay, Bark's listless figures partake in skinny-dipping, huffing, and smoking pot. Every element in the composition is carefully constructed to create the illusion of realism, fused with painterly timelessness. The moonlit "swamp" filled with abandoned mattresses and other debris, took over a month to construct in Bark's studio. His images have been compared to those of Caravaggio and mythical depictions of Leda and the Swan. Bark's artistic concerns, however, center on the emotions we experience today – what are the boundaries between attraction and disgust, eroticism