Chris Komater’s new photo series is inspired by Edvard Munch’s 1893 exhibition, Study for a Series: Love. Munch exhibited six paintings that explored “the struggle between man and woman called love.” This was the genesis of a larger cycle, The Frieze of Life, a Poem about Life, Love and Deaththat explored the stages of life, the hopelessness of love, anxiety, infidelity, jealousy and death. Munch’s expressive and intensely personal treatment of psychological turmoil over a century ago finds in our era an equivalent in the selfie and Facebook, where intimate moments are documented, made public, discussed and analyzed. Komater’s six photos are culled from his recent online dating experiences, but printed in such low resolution as to render details and content almost unrecognizable. The closer one gets to these photos, the less one knows. He’s included images from classic Hollywood. Even though they are stripped of detail, they still convey meaning–familiar archetypes of beauty and desirability. Komater draws attention to and frustrates our voyeuristic impulses. We’re invited to ponder not only what we’re looking at, but how and why.
CHRIS KOMATER is a San Francisco-based artist. His photographs and sound installations have been shown at Cheryl Haines Gallery, Patricia Sweetow Gallery, Mark Wolfe Contemporary Arts, Meridian Gallery, and the LAB Gallery in San Francisco; Jan Kesner Gallery in Los Angeles; Bernard Toale Gallery in Boston, and many other venues. He is the recipient of a WESTAF-NEA Regional Visual Arts Fellowship, a Market Street Art-in-Transit grant, and was the founding director and curator of Secession Gallery, a non-profit gallery without walls in San Francisco, and the online arts venue, Marjorie Wood Gallery. This is Chris’ fifth solo show at the Mercury 20 Gallery.