IN TOWN | IN DECEMBER: WEEK TWO
In recent years, photographers Bob McKay & Elisabeth Koch-McKay have been Red Bank’s foremost curators of photographic work, cultivating art that’s bold and demure, edgy and comforting, but always transporting.
For their newest show at the McKay Imaging gallery on Monmouth Street, they’ll transport visitors to Liz’s homeland of Austria with their own shots.
In a manner of speaking, this is a show of vacation pictures. But “Home/Away From Home” offers gallerygoers an opportunity to see a bit of the old world through the eyes of both a returning native and an outsider who’d never been out of the United States before he and Liz traveled there together for the first time in 1996.
We’re curious to see both how the pictures differ and how close contact the couple met in college 15 years ago and have been married for the past 11 has led one’s eye to influence the other’s.
An opening reception is scheduled for Friday night from 7 to 10p.
Here’s a statement the McKays prepared about the show:
Elisabeth and I met at Brookdale Community College in 1992 in Professor Dan Schroll’s illustration class. Within weeks, we were already working on a photo illustration together, an album cover for “The House Where Light Caves In” by local rock band “Split Decision.”
One of the first things that I noticed about Liz, besides her obvious talent and creativity, was her German accent, which turned out to be an “Austrian” accent. I had no way of knowing, at the time, how profoundly Liz’s Austrian heritage would effect my life and eventually our work together.
In the years that followed, we set goals for ourselves, worked towards them and finally married in 1998. Now, 15 years, a million photographs and many journeys to Europe later, we are finally having a show together; in our own gallery; photographs from Liz’s first home/ my new home away from home.
We began traveling to Austria together in 1996. For Liz, it was simply a trip back home, although introducing me to her parents did make that journey a bit “different.” For me, it was my first time off of American soil, a very exciting time where almost everything was a new experience.
Liz has since returned many times and I have made four trips in all. Each time we go, we of course have our cameras in tow. We work together but our perceptions differ. Liz, is photographing her homeland, most often with a $20 medium format, Holga camera, which she believes offers a special sensitivity toward capturing what she remembers of the beauty and feel of the place. I, at first with black and white 35mm film and later with digital cameras, began photographing a foreign land as any tourist might do but eventually as if it was all somewhat more familiar. It has always been her home. It has become my home, away from home.
Usually, when we return, everyone is excited to see the pictures, including us; but our busy lives rarely allow for it. It would be so easy if we shot a couple of rolls of film like other people but of course we rarely put our cameras down on these occasions. Showing the pictures is always such a big project… but it looks like we’re finally going to pull it off. So, here it is, very simply a look into the family album at some of our very favorite shots. We cordially invite friends, family and friends of the gallery to join us. We are very excited about it and hope that you will attend. Bis bald. Auf Wieder sehen.
McKay Imaging is upstairs at 12 Monmouth Street. The show runs through January 17; gallery hours are Wednesdays and Thursdays, 1 to 7p, or by appointment (732.842.2272).