303 PARK SOUTH is pleased to announce an exhibit of twenty photographs by Gerard Malanga. This ongoing series begun in 1980 marked a turning point in his pictures, working in conditions that were not only technically difficult but personally dangerous.
Few photographers have been as uninhibited and adventurous in their approach to subject and concept as Malanga. In this new work he has emphasized that the photograph could be not just a document but realized as a metaphor to evoke something else -- that is, as an 'equivalent', to use Steiglitz's term -- and as an oblique way of expressing ideas, emotions and intuitions.
With these provocative images Malanga revitalizes the tradition of photography first set forth by Weegee and Diane Arbus in it's not merely enough to be passively involved in the medium but to be engaged in the act of taking a photo that borders on risk and adventure -- that is, to seize the moment.
The Baltimore Sun, in reviewing Malanga's work, singled out one of his images 'Shark Bait': "She is all bravura, shadow, knees and city. She is also seemingly caught at the very moment of her and city. She is also seemingly caught at the very moment of her Venusian shell birth into sexuality. It's as if Malanga’s camera is doing a sly bit of retrospective mythical apologizing..."
Malanga's pictures are easily summed up in what critic and writer Leslie Fiedler has observed on the subject: "One of the things a work of art must do is move people, stir them vicariously, whether by love or pity or fear. There are some basic impulses whether by love or pity or fear. There are some basic impulses that we suppress in society because they are socially deviant. But they need some release. In a literate society we use art to release them." In this instance Malanga's pictures provoke without artificially creating sensation and without distorting the truth of what is seen and recorded in finally becoming a shared experience.
Gerard Malanga was for several years Andy Warhol's associate and silkscreen technician and together they co-founded/co-edited INTERVIEW in 1969.