Starting off as a film maker Gregory Colbert has had many critics in his rise to fame. Having no gallery and what seems to be an unlimited budget to build a 45,000 square foot floating museum to himself (that packs up and travels around the world) he rejects any normal exhibition solution available to even the most famous (and wealthiest) of artists.
As Roberta Smith reported in the in The New York Times:
Some times it takes a temple, a big awe-inspiring chunk of architecture to give art a proper aura. Sometimes such a setting makes matters worse. A case in point is “Ashes and Snow,” Gregory Colbert’s spectacularly vacuous exhibition of 200 large photographs and a slow-moving film in the vaulting Nomadic Museum, a temporary structure made of shipping containers that covers most of Pier 54 on the Hudson River at 13th Street.
Installed in this environmentally smart, if eminently Egyptian pavilion, designed by the Japanese architect Shigeru Ban, Mr. Colbert’s efforts form an exercise in conspicuous narcissism that is off the charts, even by today’s standards.
Roberta Smith via the New York Times
Still it is his imagery that we are left with in the end and it is undeniable poetic, moving and seemingly impossible. Many images (to most of us seasoned pros) look as if they had to be digitally manipulated – but if you watch his films I think its clear they all just might be actual documentary shots. If so he has become one of the best photographers working with animals today.
“In exploring the shared language and poetic sensibilities of all animals, I am working towards rediscovering the common ground that once existed when people lived in harmony with animals. The images depict a world that is without beginning or end, here or there, past or present.”
via his web site
via the web site