Charles Guice was interviewed for the feature article, Behind the Scene, in the magazine’s annual fine art issue. Written by Conor Risch, the article outlines some of the benefits and advantages of working with art dealers who operate outside of the traditional gallery system.
“How private dealers work with artists and the ways they structure their businesses varies greatly”, Risch writes. June Bateman, who was also interviewed for the article, noted that each business was unique.
‘There’s no cookie-cutter aspect to the art world’, she commented. “But regardless of a dealer’s particular modus operandi,” the article continues, “photographers who work with them exclusively or in tandem with their other gallery representation see several benefits.”
Guice spoke about his previous career as “a health industry executive who loved photography” and of his decision to become a photography dealer in 2001. Since that time, he has built a successful business and currently represents nine artists.
The article presented an opportunity to showcase the work of Diettes, Piontek and Portolese. While the editors had actually considered both Piontek’s and Portolese’s work for the issues’ cover, Piontek’s 2006-2008 portrait series, Sub Rosa, caught their eye—particularly the series’ signature image, Untitled #1.
Piontek’s Sub Rosa invites us to recall our adolescence, a stage in our lives that could not have been more intimate but, nevertheless, exists only as a romanticized blur in our minds today. The portraits show teenagers in situations that expose them as contemplative, vulnerable individuals.
To appear alongside the article, the editors selected work from Erika Diettes’ Río abajo/Drifting Away and Marisa Portolese’s Antonia’s Garden. Diettes’ twenty-six-piece tour de force, which she produced in 2007-2008, is a stirring elegy to grief, loss and the cultural history of a nation.
For more than two years, the Cali-born Colombian artist travelled throughout the conflict-torn regions of the country collecting the stories, objects and clothing owned by some of the more than 50,000 victims of Colombia’s armed conflicts and then photographing them in water.
In a departure from her earlier work, the Montreal-based Portolese photographed members of her own family for Antonia’s Garden, amounting to, as Manon Blanchette writes in the introduction for the artist’s monograph, “a family album that subtly betrays their secrets and crises.”
Drawing on a body of work she began in 2007, Antonia’s Garden/Le Jardin d’Antonia probes the fragility of life through the lens of family-related themes. Each photograph—with input from Portolese’s family members—is staged as a formal portrait depicting a family dynamic, while the sophisticated settings reference traditional portraiture, landscape and still life as underlying narrative.
The resulting work is a deeply personal treatise on loss, love, and self-identity within a family—one that could easily mirror our own.