Having worked as a classic black-and-white street photographer for most of his career, Atlanta-based photographer Robert "Chip" Simone embraced digital technology and color output in the year 2000, moving his experimentations with the medium into fresh and invigorating territory. This exhibition of 64 color photographs by Simone showcases the results of his recent explorations, presenting a tightly focused retrospective of the past decade of his work.
The featured prints in this exhibition reflect Simone's long-term quest to "invest the print with the emotional resonance that I felt when I first saw the picture." Made largely in and around Atlanta and the photographer's home state of Massachusetts, the photographs showcase Simone's sensitive response to the visual rhythms of his environment. Simone describes his work as spontaneous and improvisational: "Like jazz music, the photographs resonate with the eccentric impulses and private curiosities that led me to them. These are the most intimate images I've ever shown, not for what they depict but for what they reveal."
An Atlanta-based street photographer, Simone has dedicated himself to photography for the last four decades. Simone studied under Harry Callahan at the Rhode Island School of Design from 1964 to 1967 alongside peers such as Emmet Gowin and John McWilliams. Simone is the recipient a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts (1978) and his photographs are included in the collections of The Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; the Sir Elton John Photography Collection; the High Museum of Art, Atlanta; and other major museums.
In this exhibition, photography is my first language and these pictures speak for themselves. They resonate with the eccentric impulses and private curiosities that led me to them. In their own way they say things that words can only dream of.
These pictures come from ten years of ardent looking with an open mind and trust in my vision. Light chased shadows, and I chased both. The only rule was to try to see the familiar in a new way. The dialogue between the images is important—every picture informs every other in some way. Even planning for this exhibition was a part of my process of discovery. In the ten years that it took to make these pictures, preparing for this installation was the first time I stopped to look at what I had actually done, spread it out in one place, and consider the disparate images as a singular body.
These are the most intimate images I’ve ever shown, not for what they depict but for what they reveal. When you leave this room you will know much more about me than I will ever know about you.
The Resonant Image: Photographs by Chip Simone is organized by the High Museum of Art, Atlanta. The High, in association with Nazraeli Press, will be releasing a related publication of Simone's work entitled CHROMA to complement the exhibition.