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  • Yazarın fotoğrafıEmre Karaoğlu

GALLERY HURACAN - CONNECTION 2023, Emre Karaoglu & James Barbee

EXHIBITION RECEPTION: First Saturday, December 2, 6-9 pm at GALLERY HURACAN (3441 Magazine Street, New Orleans)

Gallery Huracan is pleased to show a Portrait Exhibition with two different media; Paintings and Photographs Exhibition by James Barbee @jamesgbarbee and Emre Karaoglu @hekaraoglu. Exhibition continues until February 29th, 2024

The rationale is twofold. The first is that the body of images we’re both showing are “up close and personal.

They are intimate moments with strangers by virtue of physical proximity. The second is that to me such connections with other people in our lives are relatively few and far between, and deserve to be treasured as they bridge the loneliness and angst we all carry within us as human beings, as we are all aware of how very small we are.



October 7th 2023 - February 29th, 2024

To fully understand the significance and wonder of human connections, one must place them in context. The universe in which we live is 99.999999% empty—a vast chaotic space, a void, filled with … nothing. Life, even in its most primitive forms, requiring as it does an extreme of form and structure to exist, is the anti-void, the anti-nothing. It is order. And yet even the atoms from which life is constructed are mostly empty space, as the particles from which atoms are formed are best conceived of not as discrete, even if tiny objects, but waves—waves of uncertainty, vibrating while in constant motion.

Like those particles, we too, live in constant motion, in a world where nothing is certain, each of us like hollow molecules of some spooky gas, alone, floating in the void, colliding

randomly with each other.

Most such encounters are fleeting and insignificant, and in these brushes, we bounce off each other, unaffected, going our separate ways. But then there are

those collisions where two people somehow “stick,” reaching across the void to form a connection, for ever how long it lasts. Some of those connections are toxic and result in injury. But then there are those that we treasure, our loneliness assuaged, in that moment when two careening, random points resonate to become as one, a mote of stability, anchoring each other in an otherwise chaotic universe. Understanding that we come into this world alone, from the void, with nothing, and that is how we will surely depart, inevitably surrendering to that same

void, taking nothing with us, should make each one of those healing connections all the more precious to us. The work on display in this show was done by two different artists, utilizing very different media, unified by a single theme: connections, more classically referred to as “portraiture.” One artist documents these moments in oils, the other in photographs.

The inclusion of two such diverse media in a single show is a bit of an experiment, but also a connection—one that, through the tension created by the juxtaposition of the two art forms, hopefully facilitates an even deeper exploration of the magic of their common theme. For the painter typically has the person depicted in his painting come to him, either literally, when someone poses for him in a studio, or figuratively, as a memory in his mind. The photographer goes out into the world, in pursuit of that person. The painter often contemplates his subject for minutes or hours, while for the photographer, the duration of the encounter may be but only for the instant when the camera’s shutter was open. The painter starts with a blank canvas; for the photographer that “blank canvas” is what the camera saw, which constitutes a document. That document is evidence that the moment “really” happened; a truly blank canvas, like that used in painting, is more ambiguous.

When either artist’s work is successful in speaking to you, you become a third person in the connection each artist experienced, heightening its significance. It is the peculiar gift of the firefly that it is capable of creating a trail of light wherever it drifts drunkenly through the darkness—the vast vault of nothing that is the night. While we are blessed with no such spectacular talent, each of us too, leaves a wake in the void made possible by connections.


3441 Magazine St, New Orleans, LA, 70115


(Gallery Hours: Wed-Sat, Noon-5 pm)


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