June 18 to July 24, 2016
Ampersand is pleased to present Dead Ringer, Clayton Cotterell’s second exhibition at the gallery. Cotterell’s new photographs were made, edited and brought together in direct relationship to his previous body of work, Arrangements, which sought naturally occurring abstractions that were at times pushed further toward the unknown via digital manipulation in post-production. In contrast, the pictures in Dead Ringer are, as much as they can be, straight photographs. They are a record of intuition, not the result of a defined concept, allowing for an ongoing body of work that favors tension between the familiar and unfamiliar. In this, like the work of a poet, emphasis is on Cotterell’s voice and style, his way of seeing. At once abstract and literal, his work is focused on the textures and overlooked nuances of regional landscapes and urban environments. And while the framework is specific to Oregon, he recognizes that his untitled photographs could serve as duplicates for any given place. Here he takes advantage of a visual medium that is in constant flux. The viewer, regardless of context, will bring his or her own cultural assumptions and memories to the image regardless of Cotterell’s intent. The title of the show, then, proposes a question: are his photographs a dead ringer for the thing they replicate, the identity of the artist himself or for a set of images we’re certain we know but in fact have never seen before?
Clayton Cotterell lives and works in Portland, Oregon. He received his MFA in Photography, Video, and Related Media from School of Visual Arts in 2008. His work has been exhibited nationally as well as internationally and has appeared in numerous publications, including Arrangements, published by Ampersand Editions in summer, 2014.
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© 2016 Clayton Cotterell and Ampersand. All Rights Reserved.