Clifton Henri: Doors
The plight of the independent artist isn’t without its benefits. Since many art fairs have grown into overwhelmingly commercial behemoths, some have found the lone rider approach more rewarding. Independence, however, doesn’t exist in a vacuum and for photographer Clifton Henri, it includes traveling seven months per year to exhibit at festivals and artist-run showcases throughout the U.S.
Photography became the medium of choice for Henri when he was in high school in Chicago. The only one from his circle of friends to leave the state for college, he turned to the camera to document his last summer at home. Though initially only for keepsakes, using photography to shape a broader narrative has become central to Henri’s professional practice.
His more recent body of work looks at the door as a revolving metaphor for time, space and opportunity. Often set in enigmatic landscapes and urban spaces, the 6’7” lensman captures antique and reclaimed doors in a juxtaposition of the material and the unknown. When asked what prompted this theme, Henri explained how it started with a simple conversation with a friend, “There are doors of opportunity all around us, we just need to condition ourselves into being able to see them and identify them.’”
This project has emerged as a portal for Henri to use his aggressive cross-country festival schedule to pick doors from one place and set them against an entirely new backdrop. He most recently went on a road-trip with the primary goal of culling and shooting another volume for this series. New Orleans, West Texas, California, Nevada, Utah, and Kansas were among the main regions, but it’s the in-between destinations – the areas of transience – that were the most compelling for reasons revealed in Henri’s supreme composition.
Catch his work in South Florida at the Coconut Grove Art Festival (Booth 301C) from February 14 – 15, or at the South Miami Rotary Club Art Festival from February 21 – 22, 2015. For more on Doors and other collections, go to the website at www.cliftonhenri.com.
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