Daily Life, Pictured Darkly
A new gallery space on campus opened this month with an evocative exhibition by a member of the campus community.
The Goodyear Gallery celebrated its new digs with Nocturnes, a dark, dreamy collection of night photographs by College Photographer Carl Socolow ’77. It is a travelogue, snapped while Socolow trekked through Italy, France, Spain, Mexico and the United States. The exhibition reveals the artist’s talent for capturing ordinary moments in extraordinary ways.
Socolow earned an English degree at Dickinson and began his career as a reporter-photographer at a small newspaper. Next, he was a photojournalist for Harrisburg’s Patriot-News. He estimates that the capital-city newspaper publishedapproximately 4,000 of his photos. But after two years, he yearned to branch out. [Story continues below.]
“Photojournalism gets away from the poetic and interpretive—it gives everything away,” Socolow explains.
So he founded Socolow Photography, a studio specializing in commercial, industrial, architectural and editorial work. He transformed from Dickinson alumnus to alumnus/staff-member last spring.
Over the years, Socolow has served national and international clients, and has published work in Better Homes and Gardens, Congressional Quarterly Magazine, Early American Life and American Spirit: A Photographic Perspective. He also was awarded many honors, including a Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship in Photography, which supports a larger creative project, Scenes From Civic Life.
His current exhibition represents a small portion of that body of work.
All about nothing—and everything
“Nocturnes” finds footing in Eastern philosophies that accept and celebrate transience and imperfection: Meaning is found not in grandeur, but in everyday experiences. “The art I most admire depicts scenes from daily life: It’s like Seinfeld, in that it’s about nothing. But it’s also about everything,” Socolow says.
This aesthetic provides gentle guidance artistically and personally, helping Socolow discover beauty and meaning in the course of the day to day. “Going places gives you fresh eyes, but the most important thing to learn, as a photographer, is to see the quotidian in your own backyard,” he explains.
“Nocturnes” will remain at the Goodyear Gallery through Nov. 19. The gallery space is behind the Goodyear building, off Cedar Street. It is open Tues.-Fri. from 3-5 p.m. and Sat. from 2-5 p.m.
By MaryAlice Bitts Jackson
Reception photos by Jennifer Crowley '13