Exhibition Reviews | Visual Arts

Hot Stuff at Utah Arts Alliance

by Kent Rigby

Hey, all you avant-garde’ art fans, check out the new photography exhibit featuring some really wild looking work by Scott Alger and Derek Dyer at Utah Arts Alliance, 2191 South 300 West, upstairs. Call 651-3937 for gallery hours.

Scott Alger is a native Utahan now living and working in Soho, New York. His work is electric. Maybe that’s a result of him being struck by lightning a couple of years ago. The story is that he was on top of a building in New York and got struck by lightning. He survived, but was blinded temporarily. The photographs on exhibit were done since he regained his sight.

These are color photos, and man, I mean color with a capitol C. The colors are bright and vivid, and the images are kinetic. Figures are in motion and seemingly collaged on top of each other as if created by multiple time-lapse exposures. Could be digitally manipulated as well. Cool, very cool. Or I should say, hot, very hot.

There are a lot of interior scenes, wicked party scenes. Sort of what you would imagine finding at real decadent underground parties in New York. Wild people, cooked out of their gourds, and this manic, lightning-fried photographer, just as cooked as everyone else, running around snapping photo after photo with his motorized Canon. Anyway, that’s what these photos look like. The figures and faces are outlined with what Alger terms a “lazar” light, which really emphasizes the kinetic effect. Sometimes the “lazer” spells out words or draws symbols in the negative space.

The prints are 20” x 24” and taped on the wall. This cuts way down on framing costs, makes the pieces easy to transport, and adds to the avant-garde’ effect. Kudos to Scott Alger, this guy has moxie!

Alger is reported to be showing concurrently in Berlin, Germany at Galerie Bergstub’l Veteranenstra 25 10110 Berlin.

OK, everyone has heard of Derek Dyer, right, the guy with the world’s largest disco ball? Dyer is the Executive Director of Utah Arts Alliance and is well known for both his artwork and events.

Dyer is exhibiting photographs from his LIQUID PEOPLE, GLOW PEOPLE, and LASER PEOPLE series.

They work well with the Alger images. They are also colorful and kinetic, but with a softer, more blurred feel. Like longer time lapse shots with the camera jiggled about.

Dyer’s stuff is also all about people, but the images are not quite as literal as Alger’s scenarios.

They are “action’ shots and have a sense of playfulness like Alger’s, but have a very different style and feel to them. While Alger’s record the party life, Dyer’s record more nondescript events. Like Alger, Dyer uses hand held lights to draw lines on the film while the shutter is open. But Dyer doesn’t get into writing words or symbols.

Dyer also was running projector art when I was there. Also very visually interesting stuff. Check it out as well.

Anyway, this is a very cool show and one the younger crowd, or young at heart, like me, should really enjoy. Take your time and have fun looking, imagining, and enjoying vicariously.

OK, that’s it for now, later alligator.

This article originally appeared in the June 2005 edition of 15 Bytes

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