Oaxaca - Images and Echoes
July 2 - July 24, 2011
In Oaxaca: Images and Echoes, photographs by Richard Wilkins reveal the heart of the ancient Mexican city, Oaxaca (wa-hah-kah). A portfolio of haunting portraits, landscapes and street scenes, Oaxaca: Images and Echoes records life where the clothing, jobs, and creations of its people still reflect its indigenous cultures. With rich black and white imagery, Wilkins captures the flow of that city and its surrounding countryside.
Wilkins is a portrait photographer who avoids formal portraits. “I am an opportunistic photographer,” he explains. “I constantly scan the environment [and] wait for the images to present themselves.” He shot Oaxaca: Images and Echoes over ten days. Strongly composed, momentary yet timeless, his images reach out to the viewer with universal themes.
Wilkins bought his first camera as a teenager. Today, he shoots digitally and with film, but still develops and prints most of his film in the darkroom. He prefers to shoot in black and white. He finds that the limited palette emphasizes the photo as an abstraction: “a two-dimensional representation of a moment and a place.” Wilkins works within these formal limits to capture the small but evocative moment. His images are immediate and dream-like, resonant with untold stories.
Wilkins received his MS in Journalism from Kent State and MBA from Harvard. He served in Korea during the Vietnam War and worked for most of his life in the corporate world. He is essentially a self-taught artist. “As a scruffy kid from the projects I was fortunate enough to live just blocks away from the Boston Museum of Fine Arts and spend time in an after school program there. That experience has had a lasting impact on me and my desire to create art of some kind.” Wilkins also plays the guitar, creates Japanese gardens, designs and builds furniture, and has experimented with painting, pottery and poetry.
Wilkins lives with his wife in Jamaica Plain, Boston. They enjoy the diversity of the area’s residents there, its youthful orientation and the strong presence of artists. He has a studio at Western Avenue Studios in Lowell.
For information about the exhibit, visit theloadingdockgallery.com or call Maxine Farkas at 978-349-8069.