Photography Exhibit Examines Floral Myths and Darkness

From Eric Korenman’s ‘Proserpine Path’ series

(STOCKBRIDGE, Mass.) – The Proserpine Path, a solo exhibition of photographic work by emerging photographer Eric Korenman, is on view at Sohn Fine Art Gallery in Stockbridge from November 2, 2012 to March 4, 2013. An opening reception will be held on Saturday, November 3, 2012, at Sohn Fine Art Gallery from 4 to 7.

In the exhibit, which reinterprets the myth of Proserpine (Persephone), Eric Korenman metaphorically explores our present day culture of abundance and excess through hauntingly beautiful imagery. Looking into what he considers the darker side of flowers, Korenman began this body of work by creating shadowy photographs of figures, presumably dead, trapped under thousands of blooms.

From Eric Korenman’s ‘Proserpine Path’ series

Moved by dramatic and foreboding images by painters such Edward Hopper and Julie Heffernan, as well as by imagery from movies such as Melancholia and The Fountain, Korenman started to push the theme further. He explored the role of flowers in mythology and became intrigued by the Greek myth of Persephone (Roman: Proserpine). She was the daughter of Zeus and Demeter, goddess of the harvest and wife of Hades (the king of the underworld). Drawn to the myth as a metaphor for decisions we make in life today, Korenman equated the story to our culture’s insatiable attraction to beauty and nimiety, which can lead us to darker realms.

In this exhibition, the faces of Korenman’s subjects are often covered with masks or flowers. Their identity is hidden, begging the viewer to question who or what is really underneath. The mythological masked figures are photographed in opulent environments, creating a sense of wonderland-like mystery and tragic comedy. The masks in the photographs were created by artist Huckleberry Delsignore. Truckloads of fake flowers have taken over bathrooms and dens, encroaching our everyday spaces. The fakeness of the flowers enhance the idea of identity and true beauty being shunned or even killed by the falseness in our lives.

Berkshire resident Eric Korenman holds a BA from Dartmouth College and an MD from Cornell University. A radiologist by day, he began his professional photography career in 2004. His recent exhibitions have been at the Hudson Opera House, Hudson, N.Y., and the Berkshire Museum, Pittsfield, Mass. He was a semi-finalist in the 2012 Annual International Philadelphia Print Center competition curated by Guggenheim Curator Jennifer Blessing. His editorial work includes publication in Art in America. He is represented by Sohn Fine Art Gallery in Stockbridge, Mass.


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