The Gallery: Chris Jordan

The Gallery: Chris Jordan

amy chase
Apr 26, 2007

Paper Bags, 2007, 60x80"

Introducing Chris Jordan, a photographer shining his lens on the problem of mass consumption.

In honor of Earth Day earlier this week, here are photos from Jordan's series, "Running the Numbers: An American Self-Portrait." The one above depicts 1.14 million brown paper supermarket bags, the number used in the US every hour. See below for a close up at actual scale.

Paper Bags, 2007, detail, actual size

This series seeks to represent visually some of the astounding statistics that describe American consumption of particular materials – hopefully moving those statistics from the abstract to the comprehensible. For instance, below, 60,000 plastic bags, the number used in the US every five seconds.

Plastic Bags, 2007, 60x72"

Plastic Bags, 2007, detail, actual scale

These large intricately detailed prints are assembled from thousands of smaller photographs and much of their impact is best grasped seeing them in person, at full scale. These web-scaled versions as just a tease. Thankfully, Jordan's NY gallery will be hosting an exhibition from this series in June.

Below, in homage to the great pointilist painter, a depiction of 106,000 aluminum cans, the number used in the US every thirty seconds.

Cans Seurat, 2006. 60x92"

Cans Seurat, 2006. Close up.

Cans Seurat, 2006. Detail, actual size

Here are two earlier images from his explorations of shipping ports and industrial yards; from the series "Intolerable Beauty: Portraits of American Mass Consumption."

Wall of Drums, Seattle 2003 (homage to Christo) 44x56"

Container yard #2, Seattle 2004. 44x56"
In the artist's words, "Collectively we are committing a vast and unsustainable act of taking, but we each are anonymous and no one is in charge or accountable for the consequences...So my hope is that these photographs can serve as portals to a kind of cultural self-inquiry. It may not be the most comfortable terrain, but I have heard it said that in risking self-awareness, at least we know that we are awake."

The artist notes that this particular series is still in its early stages, and new images will be posted as they are completed on his site.

Inquiries? Please contact the Von Lintel Gallery directly via email.

A show of Jordan's work is slated to open at The Von Lintel Gallery this June 14 at 555 West 25th Street, New York, NY 10001

Know any artists whose work would make a home a lovelier place? Send ideas to The Gallery. Thanks!

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