Saturday, November 13, 2010

Masao Yamamoto at the Robert Koch Gallery

I prefer the intimate experience of looking at small prints. I print and display my own photographs small for that very reason. When I walked into the Robert Koch Gallery last evening I was more than pleased to see the entire gallery devoted to an exhibit of Masao Yamamoto's exquisitely crafted photographs, most no larger than 4X6 inches.

Everything about the exhibit played to exactly what I love about photography: intimate view of subjects presented in a manner that invites the viewer into that intimacy while offering a fresh and often unique perspective.

Yamamoto's vision and process transcends the generations of photographic pursuit. Many of his images evoke pictorialism and classic figure study, but they are in fact beyond all that and firmly planted on a most contemporary point of view.

"If I take small photos, it’s because I want to make them into the matter of memories. And it’s for this reason that I think the best format is one that is held in the hollow of the hand. If we can hold the photo in our hand, we can hold a memory in our hand. A little like when we keep a family photo with us." -(quote from an interview posted to lensculture)

The work of Masao Yamamoto is on view through December 24, 2010 at the Robert Koch Gallery, 49 Geary, San Francisco.

Photos by Masao Yamamoto, courtesy of Robert Koch Gallery

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