PICK A CARD: CAROLINE BURGHARDT
The world is random; so is Greenpointers. The obsessive collector in me cannot keep my hands off any and all cool looking business cards that I find in coffee shops, art galleries, bars and those handed to meet when I meet new folks. I have a nerdy binder with laminated slots where I keep them, but since that has filled up I stuff everything into this pickle jar. Like a lot of organizational disasters in my life, it is one of the many elephants in the room of things I need to go through. I earnestly pocket these cards because they are attractive to me and I want to check them out.
Enter the new weekly post: “Pick a Card” in which I randomly pick a business card, show it to you, and tell you all about it.
This may sound boring, but this isn’t the “Leave a Business Card for Free Lunch” raffle jar you find in an overpriced deli in Midtown. This jar is filled with some of the most innovative and creative new companies, organizations, artists and musicians, all people who live in our neighborhood.
Another column I want to do regularly is a weekly featured Greenpoint artist, so I am killing two birds with one stone here. I am psyched that the first card I pulled is artist/photographer Caroline Burghardt. Aside from personally loving her work, the timing is great because on Saturday she is working on her Pastoral Dreams photo project up in the Bronx at the Andrew Freeman Home, and it looks like it’s going to be a lot of fun! Check out the facebook invitation for more info.
I am a big fan of Caroline’s photography. She contributed artwork (above) to the exhibit at the Love Bird’s Valentines Market and has been in many of Ugly Art Room‘s shows, The collage below exhibited last year at The Parlour Brooklyn in a show called “Cutters” during the Northside Festival.
Below is a screenshot of what you see when you visit Caroline’s website. There are three main categories: her pastoral portraits in which she has a subject pose on a background, that is set in another background, collage, and the biggest body of her work is photography, with a focus on portraits, interiors and still-lifes.
Caroline’s earlier photographs were the first experience I had with her work and it took me a while to “get” it. She focuses strongly on shape, color, pattern. Each work is carefully composed and thought out and what I began to connect with is a stillness in each piece. Some artwork just jumps out at you, but Caroline’s photographs have an eery calm, and if you pay attention long enough each tell a story, maybe about Caroline, or maybe about all of us. The piece below reminds me of a painting I have that was in my Grandmother’s dining room, which I stared at for hours as a kids eating Campbell’s soup with potato chips. Painted by my Great Grandmother, the painting is not a masterpiece in a technical sense, but it makes me think. The above photograph reminds me of that feeling of staring at the painting and just losing myself.
Like all artwork, it is not really fair to view it on a website. Caroline prints most of her photos the old fashioned way, so each has a physical depth and texture that is lost on a monitor, not to mention the size. Overall, her work stands up online.
Caroline’s collages are playful, colorful and the paper patterns mimic interiors, like wallpaper or flooring. When you get past the pure aesthetic enjoyment, that simple stillness pervades each collage as well.
Her current project, the pastoral projects are hilarious to be a part of because Caroline is really fun behind the camera. I am looking forward to participating this weekend on the “beach” in the Bronx.