The Eyeporium Gallery, inside Eye Want on Milwaukee Avenue, hosted “Seen and Unseen”, photography by Marc Hauser last Friday, May 7th. The weird, funky, cool, and yes, somewhat kitschy interior of Eye Want may evoke thoughts of the eyeball paraphernalia, optical over-stimulation, and bad puns, but a glance to the left, toward the Eyeporium Gallery and your eyes will find a respite in Hauser’s work.
During the opening reception Friday, Hauser sat on a couch talking to friends with a small digital camera around his neck, clearly never far separated from his medium of choice. His dedication to photography began while he was still a teenager. He successfully launched his career with a high school education, and more than forty years later he is still toting a camera.
The display of black and white photographs consisted of work he produced back when film was still the major means of photography. The subject matter inspires reminiscing on the part of the viewer. “Boy Scout”, a portrait of a young boy in his uniform, glasses, and headgear, evokes memories of adolescence and awkwardness. Whereas, “Wrap”, a nine-image compilation of photos of a nude woman in various positions posing in a corner with blank walls and sometimes wrapped in a gauze-like material, speaks of tension.
There is a true sense of narrative in the photos selected for “Seen and Unseen”. The people seem like characters portraying comedy, innocence, playfulness or fear, often looking the viewer directly in the eye as you would when meeting someone for the first time. One commissioned piece truly put Hauser’s story-telling abilities to good use. “Angel” is a wing-clad little girl in a photograph commissioned by her mother, who was diagnosed with cancer, and found comfort in the image of her young daughter. The soft lighting, tasteful costuming and props, and the perfectly captured expression, heralded the message of hope.
Marc Hauser’s exhibition Seen and Unseen will run from May 7th through to June 2nd, at Eyeporium, which is located within Eye Want at 1431 W. Milwaukee Avenue, Chicago, IL, 60622.