Scott McMahon received his MFA from Massachusetts College of Art in Boston and his BFA from The University of the Arts in Philadelphia, and teaches photography at Columbia College. He was a Artist-in-Residence at iPark Artists’ Enclave in East Haddam, Connecticut in 2012 and the 2010-2011 Artist-in-Residence at Border Art Residency in La Union, New Mexico. Recent exhibitions span the globe and include Galeria Pusta in Katowice, Poland, Three Columns Gallery at Harvard University, and The Lightroom Gallery in Philadelphia, among many others. He has been a represented artist at Sager Braudis Gallery since 2014. Over the past few years, Gallery Intern Matthew Hall has had the privilege of learning and working with McMahon, as Hall worked toward a BFA in Photography. As a part of Hall's gallery internship, he was assigned a curatorial project, for which he would choose a satellite exhibition space and an artist or artists, and prepare an exhibit from start to finish. McMahon's work and mentorship had heavily influenced Hall, and had shown him the potential of the photographic image. As a result, Hall chose to work with McMahon to choose a recent body of work and prepare its display at Uprise Bakery.
McMahon works with a combination of historic photo processes as well as, in other bodies of work, video installation and sculpture.
Observing veiled and cloudy projections through a portable camera obscura, McMahon started this series as daily visual exercises. He found a connection to these otherwise disparate subjects through their quiet and ephemeral qualities; they appeared to be concurrently absent and present and yearning to tell some kind of story.
As McMahon began photographing the projections, he gained interest in the photograph’s ability to distill many images within a single frame, long exposures, movement, and subtle traces of objects passing before the camera or interrupting the projection. Certain details and elements may point to the periphery for the viewer to pause and connect with a potential narrative, while various shapes, forms and shifts in perspective provide a level of ambiguity. He sees these fleeting forms as one might see the last dissipating images received on the retina, an image that cannot be retrieved, but only partially reconstructed by memory.
The temporary exhibit of this lovely, haunting series by Scott McMahon also represents the culminating project of soon-to-be Columbia College graduate Matt Hall, and both have done beautiful work. We hope you'll make a point of seeing it in person if you can, at Uprise Bakery at 10 Hitt Street in downtown Columbia, through April 29th. All 8 of the framed, 20x20" photographs in the exhibit are available for purchase; simply note the title of your favorite and contact the gallery at 573-442-4831 or by emailing the Gallery Director at email@example.com to purchase.