Exhibition Dates: October 3 – October 31, 2015
Opening Reception: Saturday, October 3 from 6–9 pm, in conjunction with Art for Arts’ Sake
Gallery Location: 434 Julia Street, New Orleans, LA 70130
Hours: Tuesday – Saturday, 10am – 5pm
Contact Info: 504.522.1999; www.arthurrogergallery.com
The Arthur Roger Gallery is pleased to present Operas and Prisons, an exhibition of photographs by David Leventi. The exhibition will be on view at Arthur Roger@434, located at 434 Julia Street, from October 3 – October 31, 2015. The gallery will host an opening reception with the artist in attendance, Saturday, October 3 from 6-9 pm in conjunction with Art for Arts’ Sake.
In his second exhibition with the gallery, photographer David Leventi presents his images of the interiors of world-famous opera houses juxtaposed with images of the interiors of the last remaining domed prisons. Together, they are a study in contrasts – the lavish social theaters versus stark dwellings of incarceration and deprivation. Astonishingly, the architectural similarities between the two venues momentarily obscure fundamental differences in their operations. One such difference is that of observation – the audience of many observing a few versus the few observing the many. The large-scale, painting-like prints allow the viewer the experience and emotion of being surrounded by the various spaces. The artist employs large-format Arca-Swiss cameras to ensure that his compositions are architecturally symmetrical and emphasize Euclidean geometry.
Leventi began photographing opera houses as a tribute to his grandfather, a cantor who was trained by the famous Danish operatic tenor Helge Rosvaenge. The images feature the spaces his grandfather was never able to perform in as a result of being interned at a camp during WWII. The artist’s fascination with roundhouse prisons began when he saw Andreas Gursky’s striking shot of Stateville Prison, Illinois – the last remaining cell block in the U.S. that follows Bentham’s Panopticon model. Leventi was driven to explore and photograph the three remaining operational roundhouse prisons, all in the Netherlands.
David Leventi received his BFA in Photography from Washington University in Saint Louis, Missouri in 2001. His photographs have been widely published in TIME, The New York Times Magazine, ESPN The Magazine, FT Weekend Magazine, Condé Nast Traveler, Vanity Fair, among others. In 2007, he was selected by Photo District News as one of their Top 30 Emerging Photographers. His work has been included in the 2008 Communication Arts Photography Annual and in the 2008, 2012 and 2013 editions of American Photography. Leventi is the recipient of two Graphis Gold awards, has been a two-time Photolucida Critical Mass Top 50 Finalist and was a participant at Review Santa Fe in 2010. He has exhibited nationally and internationally and his work is in numerous corporate and private collections. His 2015 monograph Opera (Damiani) will be available at the gallery. It includes a foreword by Plácido Domingo and documents more than 40 lavish houses across four continents. Leventi lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.