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Art review: Dylan Vitone at DNJ Gallery

October 28, 2010 |  8:00 pm

Dylan vitone 2a Dylan Vitone makes wide-format panoramic collages that must be scanned, usually horizontally but in one instance vertically, rather than seen head-on as a single picture. Just over a foot high and as much as 7 feet wide, the color ink-jet photographs are visually consumed in bits and pieces. They invite participation in a perceptually heightened dance between seeing and being seen.

For his second show at DNJ Gallery, the Pittsburgh-based artist focuses mostly on skin. Shot in Miami in 2009, his subjects include female bikini models, a men's body building contest, performers at a porn convention, an advertising fashion shoot and kids jumping off a pier into the ocean (the vertical panorama, emphasizing their free-fall). The quality is documentary, and a good deal of the pictorial liveliness comes from the friction between some subjects who knowingly pose for the camera (and for each other) and others who are caught off-guard.

Many of the panoramas include people who are themselves armed with cameras and taking pictures at the event. That turns the scene into a delirious roundelay of voyeurism and display, self-conscious and otherwise. Even the pleasure of kids jumping off the pier partly comes from their apparent desire to show off.

Dylan vitone 2

Vitone assembles multiple shots to achieve the panoramic scope. Wisely, he doesn't attempt to make the joints between photographs seamless. The result is a visual stutter, which seems crucial. Physical perfection, or some conception of it, is sought at these multifarious events, and Vitone's camera technique interrupts the flow.

One result is a feeling of temporal fragility — of time's passage and the camera's deceits. A pageantry of beauty and fun becomes unexpectedly poignant.

--Christopher Knight

DNJ Gallery, 154 1/2 N. La Brea Ave., (323) 931-1311, through Nov. 5. Closed Sundays and Mondays.

Photo: Dylan Vitone, "Miami Project: Body Builders," 2009 (detail and full panorama); Credit: DNJ Gallery

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