Bill Phelps, Minneapolis Three, 2016
VISITOR / Bill Phelps
Sep 27 – Nov 26, 2023
Robin Rice Gallery
New York, USA

The Robin Rice Gallery announces the new exhibition VISITOR by photographer Bill Phelps. Through light and shadow, a gaze, a mindset, Bill Phelps fourth solo show at the Robin Rice Gallery VISITOR inspires the imagination. About life, about being, eye and heart his greatest companions, in images that breathe in their own atmosphere. A moment of pure sincerity, a world of surrealism, or suspended reality. It’s like a wondrous path in which spontaneity, intimacy and a truthful eye are at play time and again. You feel time passing, memories forming or coming to the surface, capturing the moment and its eternity with your mind’s eye but also in his. The VISITOR projects this otherworldly image of someone in search of something more, a deeper understanding of life, or maybe a youthful appreciation of it, or maybe both. The captured quiet of the muse seen through the suspended focus of the 8×10 view camera, the nuance, the in-between, the gaze. Every human being is a poet, a dancer, a VISITOR. Bill Phelps’ portraits, whether it’s someone he may know or not, are not frozen captures of stillness at a moment in time, but surrender to chance occurrences, always. He creates a curiosity, it can often be an invitation. No hurried departure, no preconceived destination, just a perpetual search.

Everything is new. In the image “Rome Two,” 2021 a cityscape charged with intimacy, you listen to every step that has crossed the cobblestones before him, you envision every beam of light guiding him through the day to that very moment, anticipate what awaits beyond the dramatic halo of twilight, as the day’s memories start to unravel, you are aware of your senses and everything surrounding you as it happens only when you visit a place for the very first time. You want to feel what the photographer felt, and to go where he has been. The story is in what you see and in the unseen in equal measure. You are a witness, a believer, alive, a VISITOR.

–Ada Pîrvu, Classiq Journal

Born in St. Paul, Minnesota, Phelps has been published and exhibited internationally. He is the recipient of the IPA Lucie Award for International Fine Art Photographer of the Year, as well as the Grand Prize for Portraits for the World Press Photos.

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