“Korea 76” Photography by Eugene Rolfe The Studio @ Sahara West Gallery 9600 West Sahara Avenue Curated by Gig Depio May 1 – July 15
Opening Reception May 3, 2018 5:30 - 7:30 p.m.
“Korea 76” is a timely exhibition of photography that documented a rural South Korea, long touched by Western culture, at a time when the U.S. was pulling back its military presence. Two years ago, artist Gig Depio was in the garage of Eugene Rolfe. He was helping change tires on autocross bikes when he saw thumbnails of photographs Rolfe snapped in South Korea. Depio saw how the photos subject matter could be as social realism source material for new paintings. “[We] finally found a box with all the negatives. Some of them never printed before and in bad shape,” recalls Depio who recovered the negatives, some stuck to plastic sleeves, and had them digitized and restored.
“There’s almost 2000 photos I had to choose from,” says Depio. “I had already started making studies based on these photos, more of the political and economic influence and its eventual influence to culture that persists broadly in so many ways, especially today.” He already has one painting completed from the trove of found images.
(Mounting an exhibition out of recovered images will seem familiar to anyone following this site. It does happen.)
Curated by Depio, ‘Korea 76’ arrives during a historical week. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un says he will shut down his nuclear test site in May, an announcement that came after a summit with South Korean President Moon Jae-in, in which it was said that the Korean War would be declared over, 65 years after fighting ended.
“When discovering these photos more than two years ago, never did we imagine what would be happening now between North and South Korea,” said Depio. “The involvement of the U.S. in the talks makes this show relevant.”
“Korea 76” opens May 1. The artist reception is May 3.