Francis Olschafskie: New Work and Prior Treats

Posted In: Exhibitions on 10/29/2018

Francis Olschafskie:

New Work and Prior Treats

October 31 - November 16, 2018



Francis Olschafskie is another very recent addition to our roster of photographers. He holds degrees from the Massachusetts College of Art and MIT. His photographs are reflections of life as we live it, and the world as we move through it, in layers.

Mr. Olschafskie’s photographs are reflections (an appropriate choice of word) of life as we live it, and the world as we move through it…in layers. The layers present themselves as shards of extraneous content slashing through physical planes of the rational image, creating a new sense of the geography of what we are being shown. This obfuscation comes from the reflections which are the actual subjects of these pictures. But oddly, in Olschafskie’s hands, the elements being viewed, and the backgrounds that are reflected, rupture our sense of time ( as well as space ), and add historical interjections of costumed characters kindly peering into the present… like footnotes from history. They first seem dissonant, but eventually, after you begin to sort things out and appreciate them, they end up forming a rather interesting harmony, stitching the seemingly disparate elements together, which then make sense, or at least seem appropriate. This takes a while. One has to learn how to read these images, full as they are with spatial miscues, but fortunately there is a method at work here, Mr. Olschafskie does not traffic in accident nor in coincidence, everything you see, he saw, so that eventually we become initiates…and then we want more.

 And there is more. For example, we usually scan a picture with our eyes the same way a computer scanner does…right to left, left to right, and up and down. Because of the way the layers intersect, and coincide, we also must scan them front to back, and back to front, and deeper still, like a 3D chessboard, in order that we comprehend the stage on which the theater of these works are being presented. You have to work hard to look at these photographs, and harder still to really see them. But when you do, you are treated to another kind of understanding, portraying what is in front, what is through, and what is behind…it is about your sight, and what it is you are actually seeing when you look.

-Alan Klotz