Me and Auggie, 2015
Dye sublimation print on aluminum
Courtesy of the artist, Andrew Kreps Gallery, New York, and Greengrassi, London
Roe Ethridge: Nearest Neighbor
The Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati
Oct 7, 2016-March 12, 2017
Durango in the Canal, Belle Glade, FL, 2011
Courtesy of the artist and Andrew Kreps, New York, and Greengrassi, London
Roe Ethridge: Nearest Neighbor, the artist’s first solo museum exhibition in the United States, draws from disparate bodies of work made over the past 15 years. Shifting fluidly and unapologetically between the realms of commercial, fine art, and personal photography, Ethridge’s work playfully exploits the ambiguous boundaries separating these distinct photographic modes.
“Nearest neighbor” is a photographic term, a form of interpolation or “resampling” of a digital image. A nearest neighbor is an image with increased resolution based on a lower resolution image.
Nearest neighbor also alludes to the personal basis of Ethridge’s work, often lying hidden beneath a polished commercial façade. Not only does the artist frequently use his family and friends as subjects in his photographs, he commonly embeds editorial assignments with objects and associations referring to his personal life. While photographers have typically used their own lives as subject matter for their art, Ethridge flouts distinctions between sentimental and commercial spheres of meaning, suggesting that our lives are an uncomfortable admixture of individual and collective images and experiences.