bio/text

 

Tad Beck (b. 1968, Exeter, New Hampshire) received a B.F.A. in Photography from the School of Visual Arts, New York, in 1991, and an M.F.A. in Fine Art from Art Center College of Design, Pasadena, California, in 2003. He lives and works in Vinalhaven, Maine.

Beck has had solo exhibitions at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (artist's monograph with texts by Brian T. Allen and Michael Ned Holte); The Fisher Center at Bard College; Samuel Freeman Gallery, Santa Monica; Marisa Del Re Gallery, New York; Nathalie Karg Gallery, New York; Gleason Fine Art, Portland, Maine (catalogue with text by Kelly Wise); the Center for Maine Contemporary Art, Rockport, Maine; and Spectrum Gallery, Boston. Recent two-person exhibitions include collaborative works made with the artist Jennifer Locke at Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (catalogue with texts by Marjorie Vecchio, Robert Crouch, Jennifer Doyle, and Grant Wahlquist), and an exhibition with Diana Cherbuliez at Theodore:Art, Brooklyn.

His work has been exhibited in group exhibitions at the Spritmuseum, Stockholm (catalogue with texts by Bill Arning and Rick Herron); the Addison Gallery of American Art, Andover, Massachusetts; the Portland Museum of Art, Maine; the Worcester Art Museum; the Ogunquit Museum of Art, Maine; the Sweeney Art Gallery at the University of California, Riverside; the Sheppard Gallery at the University of Nevada, Reno; Apex Art, New York; Rupert Goldsworthy Gallery, New York; Debs & Co., New York; Castelli Gallery, New York; Dru Arstark, New York; Jancar Gallery, Los Angeles; Monte Vista Projects, Los Angeles; and Krowswork, Oakland.

statement

My work explores photography’s possibilities by exaggerating its failure to capture or mirror “the real.” I almost alwaysoften employ rephotography (making photographs of photographs), either by having subjects reenact previous imagery or by aiming the camera at photographic prints themselves. Rephotography collapses multiple images, multiple points in time, into one, complicating what Cartier-Bresson called the “decisive moment.” My photographs’ subjects and their surroundings produce initial, straightforward meanings; details (resulting from an iterative process of taking, making, and remaking), destabilize, upset, and multiply their interpretive possibilities. Photography’s possibilities are one of my primary concerns, but particular subject matter matters. Performance (as both concept and practice), art history and artistic influence, queerness, and (an often humorous) eroticism all recur in different series. In nearly all my work, the body—as object of desire and study, as an engine of unstable, context-dependent meaning—dominates. After more than 30 years of taking photographs, I remain obsessed with what a camera can do—documenting, abstracting, transforming, and extending moments and ideas.