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Kevin Shick at Camerawork Gallery
March 3, 2018 @ 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Kevin Shick, The Commuters
March 3rd – March 30th, 2018
2255 NW Northrup Street
(Linfield School of Nursing – Peterson Hall)
Portland, OR 97210
Gallery Hours: 9am-4pm, Monday-Friday, Saturday 9am-5pm
Indiana Photographer Kevin Shick notes, “The Commuters series depicts the daily lives of commuters on the Rock Island train line in Chicago, just minutes from their arrival at the terminal. I see these candid street portraits as windows into each rider’s personal outlook and the experiences that may have created that outlook.
“I photographed the riders, taking pictures almost every day for several months, discovering in the process that many riders stood in the same place, doing the same thing, often wearing similar clothes and expressions.
“Others, whether they were happy, pensive, worried, or self-distracted with a smartphone, seemed to have their actions and outlooks determined less as the result less of conscious choice than as the result of unconscious habit or unknown personal experiences.
“Because of the time and place where they are taken, these portraits reveal true identities, as opposed to the public mask we often wear. As Luc Sante wrote in Walker Evans’ book of subway portraits Many Are Called, “time spent commuting is a hiatus from social interaction…you can take off the face you wear for the benefit of others”.”
We can all relate to the daily commute as a transition from our personal lives to our working lives and back. Each of us has, by nature or habit, a unique view on life that is revealed in the unguarded moments during this transition. As James Agee wrote in Many Are Called, “Each [person]…is an individual existence, as matchless as a thumbprint or snowflake. … Each carries in the postures of his body, in his hands, in his face, in the eyes, the signatures of a time and a place in the world.”
Kevin Shick is a fine art photographer whose work explores the human condition and the contemporary American experience. By observing the public and private spaces where our interaction with each other and with the environment occurs, he aims to reveal our collective contemporary culture and individual states of mind. He got started in photography over 40 years ago by developing and printing family portraits in a wet darkroom, and by exploring nature with an Argus Rangefinder during family trips to Yosemite and the Sierras. Since then he has continued to study the juxtaposed urban and natural landscapes, seeking situations where light and moment come together to reveal insights about human nature.
Shick has a degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Illinois, and an MBA from the University of Chicago. Following a career in technology and consulting, he now pursues a photographic life. His work has been exhibited and published nationally, and is included in several private collections. He lives most of the year near the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, traveling frequently with his wife in their RV.