Doonan's photos take aim at unusual still lifes

Bennington Banner
January 16, 2004

Cambridge, N.Y. -- David Doonan will be exhibiting his photographs at The Small Gallery in the Valley Artisans Market. The show runs from Jan. 17 until Feb. 4. The public is invited to an opening reception on Saturday, Jan. 17 from 4 until 6 p.m.

Doonan's new work, inspired in part by the European tradition of still life painting, focuses on how the human and animal figure is presented for sale.

The motivation behind why someone would crowd a flea market table with a painting of Madonna and Child, beside a grinning skull and a life-sized wall plaque of a golden eagle was the starting point for this project.

Did the shop keeper really think that placing a row of bare breasted vixens beneath pregnant women and religious statues would increase the sales of either line? Who could possibly have thought of transforming Baby Jesus' manger into a rocking horse?

Doonan said "I am not some solemn seeker of truth or Freudian devotee. Rather I'm just an ordinary person, armed with a camera, looking for something to make me laugh."

The photographs on exhibition were composed in flea markets, antique shops and storefronts from Montreal to Tijuana. While Doonan presently works with a digital camera, all of the images here are presented "as is." None of the objects were re-arranged, and were printed full frame, without any manipulation.

David Doonan has been photographing since 1972. He studied photography at Mercer County Community College, Trenton, N.J, The Center For Photographic Studies in Louisville, Ky. and earned a bachelor of fine arts from The Cooper Union in New York City in 1977.

His work was widely exhibited in New Jersey during the 1970s and 1980s.

This is his first solo exhibition since 1986. He is presently self-employed as a web designer in Greenwich.

Valley Artisans Market is located at 25 East Main St., Cambridge. Small Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 10-5. For more information, call 518-677-2765.