RED BANK: SETTING SEITZ ON NATURE

Rocks_Beach_Arubarszrsz“Rocks Beach Aruba” is among photographer Colin Seitz’s beautiful scenes of nature — in unnaturally beautiful black and white — on display starting Friday at McKay Imaging Gallery.

“More than one year ago, Colin Seitz walked through our door seeking, among other things, a show in our gallery,” explain Robert McKay and Elisabeth Koch-McKay, the visionary husband-wife photographer team behind downtown Red Bank’s McKay Imaging gallery. “We told him that his work was really quite beautiful, but that we wanted to see a lot more of it!”

Taking that as a cue, Seitz spent much of the next year out-of-doors, building up a body of work centered around the natural landscape, as rendered in richly detailed black and white — a decision that, in the words of the Brick-based lensman, “enables me to emphasize the magnitude of the scene without oversimplifying it with color.”

True to their word, the McKays have given Seitz the wall-space real estate (and the prime-time shopping season scheduling) for his first solo show of silver photographic prints.

Titled The Beauty That Surrounds Us, the exhibit opens with a reception this Friday evening, December 12 from 7 to 10 pm, with the artist due to be present for the duration.

On view through January 6, the show represents a major exposure for the painter-turned-photographer, whose work has been seen at the Monmouth Museum, the Guild of Creative Art and Shrewsbury Borough Hall, in addition to other venues in New Jersey and NYC. It’s also an increasingly rare opportunity to savor the work of a young artist who learned his craft with conventional “wet” darkroom techniques (“while taking advantage of technology to a limited extent”) in a way that paid tribute to his influences Ansel Adams, Edward Weston, Paul Strand and Minor White.

“There is something magical in the way that nature speaks to us when light creates a scene, the way it emphasizes objects and draws attention to them,” observes Seitz in his artist’s statement. “Crashing waves, fast moving clouds, lakes with mirror reflections and mountain ranges with freshly fallen snow; all of these represent scenes that have ever changing views…a few seconds or minutes before or after would not generate the same photograph or feeling.”

Should you happen to miss the moment during the hours of Friday’s reception, The Beauty That Surrounds Us will remain on display during a special seasonal slate of gallery hours (December 15, 16, 22 and 23; January 5 and 6) at McKay Imaging, located on the second floor of 12 Monmouth Street. Monday and Tuesday gallery hours are 1 to 7 pm, or arrange an appointment by calling (732)842-2272 or emailing info@mckayimaging.com.