Beautiful Human

Humans, both as observers and subjects, are the focus of “Beautiful Human,” a multi-media exhibit that runs in the Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery Friday, September 11-October 9, 2009.

Curated exclusively for Haverford by Philadelphia artist and educator Shelley Spector, founder and director of Spector Gallery/Projects, the exhibit presents unique explorations of human life by six Philadelphia-based artists: Donald E. Camp, Matthew Fisher, Laura Graham, Rob Matthews, Joshua Mosley, and James Mundie. “Through individual portrayal of real and fictional people,” says Spector, “the six artists present bodies of work that explore history, time, truth, love, faith, identity, desire, lineage, mortality, and honor.”

Photographer Donald E. Camp addresses the ongoing struggle against intolerance by recording the faces of African-American men in “Dust Shaped Hearts,” a series of large-scale casein and pigment prints each covered with a single human face. “Dust Shaped Hearts” is supported in part by a GAP grant from the Pew Fellowship in the Arts.

Matthew Fisher’s graphite-on-paper drawings portray fictional Colonial soldiers in fabricated open landscapes, suggesting fragments of narratives. Although his work addresses the global political scene, the themes—love, war, and nature—are timeless.

Using large-scale wet photography, Laura Graham explores identity through omission in “Identity Experiment.” By concealing her subjects’ faces with shadows, cropping, and masks, Graham challenges viewers to consider the impact of what is shown, and also to imagine what is missing.

Part of an ongoing series of 100 drawings, Rob Matthews’ graphite-on-paper works portray family members and friends holding symbolic objects. Called “unremarkable in a good way” by Matthews, the subjects appear with little animation or expression, so that no one personality is distinct. The objects they hold have personal meanings but reach for universal significance.

Joshua Mosley presents a trip to the moon as a metaphor for a personal journey in his digital animation “Commute.” Using stop-motion clay figures and rapidly cycling charcoal drawings, Mosley creates a story that reflects his concern for the negative effects of technology on interpersonal relationships and self-awareness.

"Prodigies," James Mundie’s series of small pen-and-ink drawings, reveals the artist’s longtime fascination with the human oddities who once traveled the country in carnival and circus sideshows. He places portraits of real-life “freaks” within contexts borrowed from art history, blending “high” and “low” art.

An artists’ panel discussion moderated by Robert Cozzolino, Curator of Modern Art at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, will be held Tuesday, September 22, at 4:30 p.m. in the Sharpless Auditorium of the Koshland Integrated Natural Sciences Center (KINSC).

Located in Whitehead Campus Center, the Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery is open Monday-Friday 11 a.m.-5 p.m., Saturdays and Sundays 12 p.m.-5 p.m., and Wednesdays until 8 p.m. For more information, contact Matthew Seamus Callinan, Campus Exhibitions Coordinator, at (610) 896-1287 or