Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Seek a little Paris in Ketchum

Husband and wife photographers share their glimpses

Express Staff Writer

Laurie Victor Kay and Charles Kay Jr. double shoot at the Paris Opera.

The husband-and-wife photography team of Charles Kay Jr. and Laurie Victor represents a union of imagery spanning from kaleidoscope photographs to architectural images. The pair will be in attendance for their show "The City of Lights" at the Gilman Contemporary gallery in Ketchum for an opening-night reception on Friday, March 14, from 5-9 p.m. "The City of Lights" will be on exhibition through April 15.

The couple resides in Omaha, Neb., and has been working, traveling and exploring their art together since they met 12 years ago. "The City of Lights" exhibition represents one of their many visits to Paris, but from angles and viewpoints even most Parisians don't experience.

"Paris is not new for artists," Charles said. "It's an iconic city and it's a lot to take in. For us, the city has spawned several trips back to France at least two, if not several, times a year."

The kaleidoscope images Laurie presents are photographs taken in museums or places such as the French Open during a Roger Federer match. The images represent studies in shape and form and are presented with a dreamlike quality.

"A lot of work happened in the camera and after the fact," Laurie said. "I work with the images digitally as well as play and manipulate them."

Laurie said the work is very reminiscent of her days as an art student at the University of Colorado and the Art Institute of Chicago, where she studied painting and photography. Laurie graduated from the Columbia College Chicago in 1995 majoring in photography.

"It's interesting how our work reflects what we were doing before we met," Charles said. "We are radically different, and I think we do push each other."

Charles is a graduate of the Brooks Institute of Photography. His work reflects more of the history of Paris.

"One of my most favorite pieces is a chair piece in the Musée Rodin," Charles said. "The gardens had not been open for two years, and I had a moment that I knew something good would happen if I took the image. The light and the lines naturally came together."

Both Laurie and Charles explained that their Paris images are what they want to remember, and they are not the most photographed places or what a tourist is looking for.

After 12 years of shooting together, Charles and Laurie have honed their photography and can't imagine their lives any other way.

"It's a family affair," Charles said.

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