Sara Pomerance: Tall Tales & Short Stories
Sara Pomerance’s photographs blend narrative mystery and whimsy in a beguiling recipe that yields a sense of the unexpected complexity of human life. Unlike artists who seek out subjects that are inherently beautiful or remarkable, she makes even backyards and barren winter landscapes seem fascinating. Unlike artists who try to redeem ruin or ameliorate the grotesque, she seems satisfied to direct our attention to moments of grace. Her human subjects are caught in positions of poise, as if stilled by her attention.
In her earliest work done as a student in the photography program of the Corcoran College of Art + Design (BFA, 2004), Pomerance combined people and objects in black-and-white photographs that ask to be taken symbolically, or at least metaphorically. Then, for her senior thesis project, she shifted gears dramatically, photographing residents of a group home for developmentally disabled adults in Washington, D.C., using a straightforward documentary style. These pictures demonstrated not only her mastery of the black-and-white process but also her capacity for unsentimentalized compassion.
Since graduation Pomerance has focused her attentions on more commonplace others, picturing apparently comfortable adults, including members of her own family, in poses that suggest they are suspended in their environment. Most seem preoccupied or adrift in their own world. But since that world is the world of the photograph, we share their moment of unstudied equipoise. In addition, the artist has begun to photograph in color, adding a deceptive dollop of reality to the tableau-like scenes she either discovers or invents.
- Andy Grundberg, Photography Department Chair
Corcoran College of Art + Design