Jesse Burke

Last year, Rhode Island photographer Jesse Burke showed his work at a gallery situated between two homeless shelters in the Lowertown district of Ottawa. There he noticed that the majority of pedestrian traffic consisted of war veterans, drug addicts, and the unemployed. In exchange for payment, he asked several of these men to pose as subjects for an intimate series of color portraits. The results, displayed in “Low,” feature men too often ignored, avoided, or shunned. Close-ups capture faces worn with fatigue and suspicion. One man’s flabby body is covered in coarse hair resembling a shag carpet. Other bodies are ridden with twisted scars. Many have sunken cheek bones and jutting rib cages. But Burke’s insistence on capturing his subjects’ flaws isn’t unflattering. Rather, it highlights the striking resilience of these individuals. (Note artist reception, 3 p.m. Sat. May 16.) ERIKA HOBART

Wednesdays-Saturdays, 11 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Starts: May 15. Continues through June 20, 2009

 
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