Vanillaroma_low_resModern day still life is the compelling element of photographer Eric Levin’s first solo exhibition,”Corners”. Levin finds beauty hidden in the clutter of everyday life, in Baristaville and beyond.  Levin named this show “Corners”  because “there is a corner in every picture. Corners are where things collect, are tucked away, trapped, where you find refuge” says Levin.  Time Magazine art critic, Richard Lacayo, describes his work as “subtle, witty, and intricate.” The show opens on January 2 at Studio Montclair‘s gallery on the second floor of the Clark House, Montclair Historical Society, 108 Orange Road, through January 31. An artist’s reception takes place on Friday, January 13, 5-8 pm.

23 replies on “Not Cuttin’ Any Corners”

  1. i’m in the wrong business…wait a minute, I don’t have a business…maybe I’ll publish a coffee table book that features coffee tables.

  2. ansel adams… not
    this is surely a new years eve joke, right?
    a photograph of an ugly white sink sporting a yellow scent-o-rama against a cement grey background. the colors work but the material does not.
    could this be the toilet eye view of that same sink? or the view one would get of that sink through one’s legs after barfing into the toilet… no wait, that view would be upside down.

  3. In case anyone’s curious, the photograph above was taken in Montclair, in the men’s room of the Bubble Bath Car Wash on Bloomfield Avenue. In a large print, you can see that the yellow fragrance tree is labelled “Vanillaroma,” which would make a fun title for the picture, though the official title is Car Wash Men’s Room, Montclair, New Jersey, 2005.

  4. “ansel adams…not” is actually an astute comment on my work, though I don’t think Dan understands why. Not everything is toilets, of course. (I do have a series called, “I’ll Be Right Back: Visits to Men’s Rooms and Bathrooms.” They are not in any way gross or explicit.) For a look at the range of my photographs, see my website,

  5. I liked the photos- The theme
    -from someone who is known for painting themself into them from time to time-
    Well, I think it is pretty clever.

  6. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder- and the artist. I think Eric’s take and focus is interesting. Look forward to seeing more at the exhibit.

  7. It’s quite embarassing to be caught making snarky comments about the artist’s work by the artist himself. (I know the feeling well, James Lapine once jumped on me for not showing the correct amount of “understanding” for Sondheim, and it’s a long, unapologetic story).
    But it is still a dreary picture of a men’s room. Well set up but conveying what exactly,? Makes me think the photographer is maybe more interested in playing to critics who might think the washroom is a place of “everyday beauty” than to those who might actually wash their hands there daily. Would you ever want this hanging in your own home? If so, that’d certainly make me wonder about the quality of your home life.
    Eric, too, you really didn’t have to disparage poster Dan Murphy above, to try and make him sound like a Philistine. His artistic judgment on this one – since we’re not even talking Richard Avedon here, let alone Ansel Adams – is probably as good as your own, let alone Time critic Lacayo’s.
    Perhaps the entire show is more upbeat. Perhaps the Barista is thus at fault for choosing this picture from the show. But perhaps a picture of a sink is just that.

  8. You’re right, in matters of taste the eye of the beholder rules. I have no problem with that. I apologize to Dan for being snarky.
    The pictures are my way of responding aesthetically to the mystery of the world and to the possibilities of this medium I love. They are not devised to please critics or anyone else, though I am always pleased if a viewer is pleased by them–or stimulated or intrigued or any of the other responses that art may elicit. One of which, of course, is not liking.
    I have been taking pictures for a long time, but this is the first time I’ve put them out into the world in so public a way. And in inviting a response from the public — as opposed to people who know me or my work or are particularly interested in the kind of photography I do (which is intentionally a long way from Ansel Adams) — I am asking for, and getting, an education. An artist can’t be thin-skinned, this is clear.
    On the other hand, there is more to these pictures, and more in them, than a small image on a computer screen can convey. So I invite all Baristavillians to come see the show.

  9. Nice work, Eric. And based on the comments here, both positive and otherwise, I’d say you’re doing something worthwhile.
    See you at the opening!

  10. A child said What is grass? fetching it to one with full hands
    How could I answer the child? I do not know what it is any more than he.
    I guess it must be the flag of my disposition, out of the hopeful green stuff woven.
    of I guess it is the handkerchief of the Lord,
    A scented gift and remembrancer designedly dropt,
    Bearing the owner’s name someway in the corners,
    that we may see and remark, and say Whose?…
    And now it seems to me the beautiful uncut hair of graves.”
    Song of Myself, 1855

  11. yes, somewhere in the corners we find things forgotten, remembered, lost, purposely placed–in the corners…”bearing the owner’s name someway in the corners, that we may see and remark, and say whose?”

  12. While I understand the propensity towards amity during the holiday season, the love fest above tests the limits. At least my own. Criticism is fun! So is defense of one’s work. Yet I still suspect Tom Wolfe was right on in “The Painted Word” when he suggested that too many modern artists create to fill previously stated critical interests.
    As for the issue of remembrance, clarice, go a poem called “The Listeners” by Walter De La Mare, it better than me and thee together (along with Walt Whitman on this one) will ever summon up. As for corners, all are fine to ponder upon, just as long as none are as “jolly” as the one Henry James (who’d REALLY have a problem with the Eric Levin photos I saw on his web site) wrote about.
    Gak! but this is also all too deep for New Year’s eve eve. Back to the seemingly never-ending parade of bowl games (many of which so far clearly have loads of empty seats).

  13. PS: Bowl game overload is surely also why I seem to be missing a few phrases in the above post. That and the eggnog.

  14. Sorry to disappoint you Eric. One less NEW fan. You know me already. I’ve taken your picture several times.
    So this is one old (Dan) Fan reminding you that “Nude Decending A Staircase” caused rioting at that year’s Paris Exposition.

  15. Hey Eric, meant to tell you that I read your piece in the Montclair Times on Dylan, after he appeared at MSU last June. It was one of the best I’ve read on the guy, still remember some of the lines, like how Bob doesn’t ignore his audience but is “oblivious” to it, and others. As a longtime fan, I’ve read oodles of stuff on Bob, even written some myslef, but yours took my breath away.
    I like the photos too. I’m usually skeptical about photography, for a variety of reasons, but yours do capture a slice of reality, in the most mundane settings (surely intentional), and hold it up to us in all its wonderful absurdity.
    Great work – and everyone, check out his site, if not the show.
    Martin Golan

  16. Clever does not=love fest-and the works of which you speak are classic and brillant (in fact, my man T.S. wrote a tribute to De La Mare if I recall correctly). I just like the concept of corners-Jolly or not.

  17. beautiful site and terrific work. I am going to put the opening in my calendar. It takes a thick skin to put yourself or any creative endeavor (cooking, writing, painting, music making, creating a new business, etc.) out in the public eye.

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