Exhibit shows emotion through art

Representing personalities and relationships and blurring the line between photograph and painting, artist Paul Goldberg’s works are more than just still lifes.

Displaying photographs — printed on “cotton rag paper” — that seek to convey human emotional states, Boston University’s Sherman Gallery will become host to Goldberg’s newest collection of 24 works, “Objects of My Affections,” starting Thursday.

Goldberg uses a new photographic technique known as “Iris” or “Giclee,” which combines the more traditional realms of photography with painting to create the experience of light emanating from an object.

Goldberg discovered the technique from a colleague, who was using it to reproduce copies of paintings. First, this process involves shooting film, and then using “state-of-the-art” computer techniques, in lieu of traditional dark-room developing, to print the images onto a cotton rag paper. While pieces in this exhibit have been previously displayed, this is the first display of Goldberg’s entire collection.

Previously he used black and white photography to capture people in his art. But four years ago, upon moving to Rockport, Mass., a landscape he saw inspired a shift in his artistic style from portrait to landscape and from black and white to color.

“My psyche was available to take in color and landscape like I’ve never done before,” Goldberg said.

Goldberg uses a limited color palette in each piece. All of his pieces in the exhibit have black backdrops and are composed of simple objects that function to convey human feelings.

Goldberg explained that while his works are still life, they are “still about humans. I just use things to represent them. The objects that I choose I relate to visually and emotionally.

“I think of them as lyrical, metaphorical narratives about love and loss, confidence and fear, integrity, isolation, longing, belonging … the human condition.”

While on dark backgrounds, each piece is highlighted by shades or hues of another color — usually blues and greens — and is lit solely by sunlight. The pieces in particular represent the relationships between light and dark and between empty space and full space.

“[The colors are] unlike any you might see in a photograph,” said Cate McQuaid of The Boston Globe in a written statement. “The greens are exquisite: near blue, sweet and seductive against a total black ground.”

Located in the George Sherman Union, the exhibit will run through Jan. 21 and open with a reception Thursday at 5 p.m.

Goldberg’s work will be in the Soho Photo’s 2000 National Photography Competition and the Bristol Art Museum’s National Juried Show. He was recently awarded and Honorable Mention in the Cambridge Art Association’s National Prize Show by Art New England Editor Carl Belz.

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