With their radiant circles, these images of refuse playfully evoke the areoles (diminutive of Latin aurea, "golden") or halos in paintings of sacred figures.
In Christian paintings, a luminous cloud would envelop the whole body or just the head, where it would appear as a round halo or nimbus—a kind of crown.
These photographs of trash bins, however, look down instead of up, toward the earthy, random debris at our feet. They are closer to profane than sacred.
Gary Duehr has been chosen as a Best Emerging Artist in New England by the International Association of Art Critics, and he has received an Artist Grant in photography from the Massachusetts Cultural Council. His work has been featured in museums and galleries including the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, MA; MOMA PS 1, New York, NY; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA; and Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Havana, Cuba, as well as exhibitions in Tokyo, Venice, London, Dublin and Barcelona. Past awards include grants from the LEF Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation.
His public artworks include a video artwork for the Canadian subway system; a photo installation funded by the Visible Republic program of New England Foundation for the Arts, and a commission from the MBTA (Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority) for a permanent photo installation at North Station.
Duehr has written about the arts for journals including ArtScope, Art New England, Art on Paper, Communication Arts, Frieze, and Public Culture. Currently he manages Bromfield Gallery in Boston's South End.