Thursday, February 2, 2012

'The Odysseus'

 Opening night reception on February 10, 2012, 6pm-9pm

    Studio Christensen, 333 South 20th, Philadelphia, PA 19103

PHILADELPHIA -- Paradigm Magazine and Studio Chirstensen are proud to present "The Last Showing of The Odysseus," a series of American landscapes by photographer Mikael Kennedy. Having first exhibited these images in 2007 at the Studio 101 Gallery in Chicago, IL, The Odysseus has been exhibited nationwide over the past few years in 3 chapters: The Odysseus, The Wine Dark Sea & Salt Water River Guard, shown in New York, Massachusetts, California, Illinois, Oregon & Maine, and now, for its final exhibition in Philadelphia.  Kennedy's photography has garnered international attention with his widely exhibited Polaroids from the series 'Passport to Trespass,' a decade plus documentation of Kennedy's life as he bounced back and forth between the American coasts, roaming with other young artists, catching rides with bands, working odd jobs, anything to keep himself on the road.

"In 2007, I boarded a plane in New York City heading towards Lama, NM. Landing in Albuquerque by way of Houston, I found [a friend's] old gold Volvo sedan in the airport parking lot. I was told the keys would be hidden on the front left tire where she had left it several days before," Kennedy explains.  "I found the car and the keys, and drove the 3 hours north up into Lama where I spent the next two weeks living in the shrine-like home of 60’s painter Bill Girsh. That was where The Odysseus began, up in the mountains there." And now that odyssey ends, this February is the last exhibition of the series.

Five years ago, Kennedy found himself driving out away from the cities, stepping away from his traveling partners, preferring at times to walk alone. "I was driven by this desire to be out in the middle of nowhere, to be alone in the wilderness, maybe it was a desire to return to the world I grew up in, the empty pristine valleys and woods of Vermont. The world feels less wild to me these days, this whole series was the beginning of me working through that idea, of trying to find places where the world felt empty, less settled."

The Odysseus series has been compared to the work of Hudson River Painters, a series of landscapes touching on the sublime as valleys open up from the tops of hills. Paths appear before the viewer, leading them deeper into the woods. We are reminded of the beauty of the American Landscape for which America was once known and celebrated, something that feels like it is lost these days.


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Mikael Kennedy is a photographer living and working in New York City. He is the author of the internationally acclaimed Polaroid travel blog: Passport to Trespass and his Polaroid work is represented by the Peter Hay Halpert Fine Art Gallery of New York City. Kennedy's Polaroids were recently the subject of a solo show at the historic Chelsea Hotel in New York City and were shown at the International Polaroid Symposium in Cardiff, Wales where he was intvited as a guest lecturer. Kennedy's photographs have appeared in Nylon , Dazed & Confused, Blown (UK), Cosmoplotian, WWD, His photographs are part of the permanent collection at the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, TX as well as in private collections nationwide.