There’s a fluidity in the photos of Stewart Halperin that’s akin to the surface tension you see when water has ever-so-slightly overfilled a drinking glass: they seem about to pour forth out of their own skins.
And what they threaten to let loose more than anything else is color. Rich, bold earthy color.
Halperin, who operates out of St. Louis but has been traveling the world almost constantly for the past 35 years (he’s been to more than 80 countries), brings his pictures to Red Bank starting Saturday with his first-ever East Coast exhibition at Asher Neiman Gallery on Monmouth Street.
It’s a portfolio that reflects two major influences: time Halperin spent in the rainforests of Tanzania as a graduate student working with primatologist Dr. Jane Goodall; and his work with renowned photographer Ernst Haas.
Here’s Halperin on living in Africa, studying chimps and gorillas with Goodall:
I learned to truly see observing animal behavior unfold, watching the slow rhythm of the forests, witnessing the cycles of light over the course of each day and each month. I had the luxury of time.
And a thought or two on Haas:
Ernst seared my eye, heart and soul with color. He showed me you don’t have to be technical in your approach to work be fluid, take a chance with your colors, be bold in moving beyond reality and into
abstraction. Don’t just use your images merely to document, but use them to ask questions. Photographers
are painters in a hurry and though we create that image in an instant, we still have the same obligation
to attend to every element of the frames canvas.
The show, titled ‘A World of Radiance,’ begins with a reception for Halperin on Saturday from 6 to 9p and continues through July 18.