Photographs focus on upban sprawl and human impact on the environment.
This exhibition of 33 works focuses mainly on urban scenes across the world. Dubbed "De Aqui al Paraisio" (or "From Here to Paradise"), some of the images on display manage to capture both the mundane aspects of city life and a glimpse of paradise in the same frame. Those images are Ashton's most successful.
One of Ashton's most compelling pieces is entitled "Montevideo (Pole)." In this large-scale photograph, Ashton captures a decrepit building awash in graffiti. To the left of this building are two men conversing in front of a limitless ocean. The buildings are everyday reality, but the clear ocean suggests a paradise beyond.
Ashton's mastery of the camera is evident in works like "Cologne (Pole)" and "New Years Eve, Havana." In "Cologne," he presents a flyer-covered pole in crisp focus. A blurry city scene in the background suggests that life swirls around this pole. The busy party scene in "New Years Eve, Havana" has the same lively effect.
Other highlights of the show include "Porto (laundry)" and the seductive "Noah's basement."
--Julia Beizer, June 7, 2006
Ken Ashton: De Aqui al Paraiso