12 March 2011

Visual Art section to join ART/OFFICIAL

In the coming weeks as art/official begins a revamp of our layout, we plan to add a visual art section to the blog. No more will we primarily cover just music in the city, but a wide range of visual art. We are very excited for this next step in art/official. As a teaser we would like to inform our readers about a very cool exposition by Lafayette photographer Herman Mhire going on this evening in New Orleans. For more info check out the press release by clicking "read more!"

March 12 - April 23, 2011
Opening reception: Saturday, March 12, 2011, 6-9 PM

New Orleans, LA -- Martine Chaisson Gallery is pleased to announce photographer Herman Mhire’s first exhibition at the gallery. Titled Altered States, the Lafayette-based photographer will present an extraordinary series of surreal, large-scale portraits of Louisiana artists that explore ideas of portraiture, the photographic medium, and psychology. With each portrait, Mhire concocts a world rich with references of his art historical predecessors, yet a vision uniquely his own.

“My passion lies in creating images I've never seen before,” says Mhire. “I transform photographic portraits into provocative and often disturbing hyperfaces that invite the viewer to search for clues about the altered states of my fictional characters."

The series Altered States was born out of a trip to Paris in 2007 when Mhire prolifically photographed sculptures of the human figure from cultures and time periods as varied as ancient Greece and Southeast Asia to 19th-Century France. With a renewed interest in portraiture, Mhire returned to his Lafayette, Louisiana studio and embarked on the series of portraits that comprise Altered States.

Viewers are asked to examine the intricate signals and details of the subjects’ faces and what it tells them about the subject and their own perceptions. Manipulation of each image, heightens this awareness and brings us into a psychologically arresting space to imagine and explore alternate realities.

Mhire’s recent solo exhibitions include the Acadiana Center for the Arts and Galerie Eclaireuse in Lafayette, LA. A selection from Altered States was included in the group show Interplay curated by Dan Cameron at the CAC, New Orleans.

Mhire served as the Distinguished Professor of Visual Arts in the College of the Arts and Director/Chief Curator of the Paul and Lulu Hilliard University Art Museum at the University of Louisiana, Lafayette and as the Executive Director of the Louisiana Association of Museums for several years. He has organized over 200 international exhibitions and received awards from the American Association of Museums, Southeaster Museums Conference, Art Directors Club of New York, and the Art Directors & Designers Association of New Orleans. In 2004, the Minister of Culture of France named Herman Mhire a Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters.

Martine Chaisson Gallery is located in the New Orleans’ Historic Warehouse District at 727 Camp Street. With an emphasis on quality, the gallery represents emerging and established artists providing a variety of original contemporary art including painting, drawing, photography, and sculpture to enhance both corporate and individual environments.

For more information please contact Murphy Dunn or Lauren Lagarde at 504.304.6792 or


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