Monthly Gallery Review – The Wild Horses of Sable Island

After a month of wandering SoHo and Tribeca with my little black notebook, I’ve decided to use the multitude of notes that I’ve taken. Starting with July, every month I’ll introduce a new gallery that I either loved or had some major issues with.

This month, I’d love to talk about The Wild Horses of Sable Island. A permanent exhibit comprised of a selection of Canadian fashion photographer Roberto Dutesco’s personal work. The building itself is light and welcoming, with incredible friendly staff that are clearly excited about the photographs and the history of the Island.

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Lovebite, Roberto Dutesco

Sable Island is a narrow strip of sand off of Nova Scotia known historically as being the site of more than 475 shipwrecks. Due to it’s incredibly harsh environment and lack of any semblance of shelter, humans were unable to survive- however the horses they had with them thrived on the seagrass and ponds scattered around the island. Dutesco is one of very few who have gained the right to land on the island- which is mainly reserved for park rangers.

The photographs are mainly in black and white as well as sepia tones, some accompanied by drawings of the island within the mat board of the frame. The entire gallery seems touched by the same winds and sands that the horses endure day in and day out, with worn wooden and stone accents placed throughout the two rooms, and a lovely earthen color scheme chosen for the flooring, contrasted by the stark white walls. There are plenty of hand drawn maps and information placed throughout to explain what makes the island and these horses so special.

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View of the gallery, sourced from the gallery’s website

Overall I absolutely loved this little SoHo gallery, I’ve already gone back a second time and am absolutely planning on visiting again soon. The photos are well shot, the rooms fit the exhibit, and the staff is welcoming and knowledgeable. I highly recommend checking this one out.

The Wild Horses of Sable Island
64 Grand Street
New York, NY 10013
dutescoart.com
212.219.9622

 

Eric Rhein and the Shadow of HIV/AIDS

In honor of National Coming Out Day, I want to discuss something largely overlooked by the LGBTQ+ generation of today- the AIDS crisis.

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Ken and Me – Noon – June 5th, Eric Rhein. Eric had recently made an incredible recovery, whereas his then boyfriend, Ken, was not doing so well.

 

Eric Rhein was a young artist living in the East Village of Manhattan in the 1980s, where he witnessed many  friends and lovers go through the struggle of living with HIV and AIDS. And then, in 1987, he found out he was HIV positive. Out of fear for his career, he kept the information secret for years until he found a few people he felt he could trust, and they helped him feel comfortable enough to be open about his fight. Unfortunately, shortly afterward he took a turn for the worse and ended up hospitalized for a stretch of time.

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Uncle Lige’s Sword, Eric Rhein. Rhein’s uncle Lige was a gay rights activist.

Referring to the time he spent at St. Vincent’s Hospital as his “Artist Residency”, the whole experience was brimming with creativity and inspiration. He felt the presence of everyone he lost to the disease around him, particularly in the leaves he found on the ground outside. Thus, the beginnings of his internationally collected and ongoing Leaves project, in which he dedicates a wire silhouette of a leaf he traced to a friend with AIDS who passed away.

In his own words, “One by one, I picked up leaves until a host of kinsmen was gathered in my arms. In death, they continue to be the teachers that they were in life, generously sharing with me the gifts of their individual attributes.”

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A small selection from Leaves.

Currently, there are over 250 portraits.

We lost almost an entire generation to the AIDS crisis, and since there are so few left to tell their stories, it feels like few talk about it. Please, take some time to remember the history as you celebrate today.

(If you’re interested in learning more about the AIDS crisis in the LGBT community, I highly recommend the documentary We Were Here, available to stream on both YouTube and Netflix.)