Double Vision: The Photography of Melvin and Michael Nelson
February 5 - 28, 2008
Photographers Melvin and Michael Nelson, father and son, were the subject of a moving and amusing exhibition. The aesthetic connection between this father and son duo may not be apparent, but the impact of the father's work on the son is unmistakable. The exhibition allowed the viewer to witness two distinct sensibilities expressed through photography but with a different intent and style. Melvin Nelson photographed his three sons as they grew up in Illinois during the 50s and 60s. With the backdrop of vacation destinations, such as Disneyland, these images take on an additional historic significance. Utilizing an instinctual gift for composition and an intuitive use of equipment, Melvin Nelson created works that might bring to mind the photographs of Diane Arbus or Elliott Erwitt.
"There are reasons sons become photographers," said Michael Nelson, and the inspiration generated by his father's work laid a groundwork for his own development. In contrast to the sometimes amusing work of his father, Michael's photographs are cool and elegant images from the seriesFloorwork, which he shot using a long exposure to floor level, creating fluid effects similar to those found in painting.