Developing Points of View

Developing Points of View

Photography Critic Thad Russell MFA 06 PH (above) introduces a series of work by Natalya Kornblum-laudi 18 PH during final crits in late May. | photo by Jo Sittenfeld MFA 08 PH

Photography Critic Thad Russell MFA 06 PH (above, introducing a series by Natalya Kornblum-laudi 18 PH) admits to being blown away by the work sophomores produced in his spring studio. “It’s not just their talent,” he explains. “It’s their work ethic and the way they support each other.”

When department faculty gathered to critique final work by Ashley Hagerstrand 18 PH (above) and her classmates, they considered a wide variety of approaches and subject matter, from dark close-up visions of alcohol and drug addiction to sunny street scenes capturing the sheer joy of life.

Tiffany Ng 18 FAV (above) showed mostly documentary photos exploring what it means to be a woman in modern culture. Her intimate images play off notions of personal identity as “fragile, unstable fiction.”

“The documentary style is leading you to really interesting stuff,” faculty member Jo Sittenfeld MFA 08 PH offered. “Don’t try to clean it up too much.”

Matt Barbarino 18 PH included nearly 100 images of varying sizes in his series on heroine and the underbelly of life in Binghamton, NY. “I want to avoid glorifying addiction,” the artist explained. “The world is always going to be difficult and violent. Maybe the only progress [we can make] is through personal development.”

In contrast to Barbarino’s stark, largely black-and-white images, two series on view by California native Penn Stussy 18 PH (above) were awash in midday sunlight and color. He shot all of of the photos in Providence, but as Department Head Eva Sutton pointed out, “it doesn’t matter where they were taken. These photos are about form, color and abstraction.”

Related stories

Painting Privately/Sharing Publicly

During final crits sophomores in Painting shared new work and spoke about the evolution of their creative practices.

Bound Treasures

During crit week in May, students in a Bookbinding studio this spring shared a wide range of experimental takes on artist's books.

Heartbreaker

A solo exhibition at the RISD Museum takes viewers on the road with Photography Critic Jesse Burke MFA 05 PH and his young daughter.