USCB Center For The Arts features photos of Jack Dempsey

From staff reports

USC Beaufort will present Indelible Moments: 1970 Street Photographs from Two Cultures by Jack Dempsey through February 20. The two exhibition areas will feature an exhibit of more than 50 street photographs from the United States and South America during the early 1970s.

The front exhibition hall will show photographs from two extended trips to Columbia, Ecuador, and Peru in 1971 and 1972. The interior exhibition hall will exhibit photographs from the central, eastern, and southern U.S., around the early 1970s as well.

Dempsey’s work highlights the contrasts and similarities of the two cultures during that unique period in our history.

“Certain scenes I came upon were thought-provoking to me because of shadow and light shapes that bounced to the either end of the value scale and made mid-tones become the backdrop. Images of store windows, with or without people, were also intriguing,” Dempsey said. “The arrangements, the styles, typography, the objects, for example hats, political posters, fences, or mannequins are cultural artifacts and sometimes art. I’m sure the work of Eugene Atget, an early pioneer of photography, and artist/photographers like Bill Brandt and Walker Evans have always influenced my awareness of the artifacts of the street.”

“I don’t recall that ‘street photography’ was a term that photographers used often in the 1970s. It’s a pretty good term, though. Typically, these types of photos aren’t documentary. Neither are they photos that concentrate on snapshots, art, nor the craft of photography. Even so, street photos can be any of these things.”

“I often carried one or two Nikon rangefinder cameras inside a woven shoulder bag. These cameras were well used when I first bought them and got pretty beat up. I loved them and adjusted the f/stop, shutter speed, and twitched the film advance lever without looking as I walked along.”

“Considerable work was involved in restoring the 50-year-old negatives that were often stored in hot closets or in rooms without air conditioning. The images are printed on archival paper from high resolution scans. Some were quite a challenge to restore and required a lot of digital post-production.”

Signed archival prints are available from jdempsey.net.

For more information, visit https://www.uscbcenterforthearts.com/ or jdempsey.net.

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