Beth Galton, Fingerling Sweet Potato from Union Square Greenmarket, NY, NY; Propagation period: 16 days in North-facing window, 2011, archival pigment print photograph, 22 x 26 inches.
Beth Galton exhibits a selection of photographs from her three, ongoing series of vegetal portraits, Roots, Amour de Pomme de Terre and Organiques Momifiés. In this presentation, titled Les Botaniques Vivants, the artist investigates the passage of time as a lived process, using organic forms in various stages of decay and highlighting the importance of what’s above and below the ground to connect viewers to the natural world. Galton’s portraits take inspiration from Irving Penn’s still life photographs of flowers that were slightly past their prime, “when they had begun spotting and browning and twisting on their way back to the earth”. Galton patiently waits for the organic forms that she stores in her studio to change into abstract forms, indicating the propagation or decomposition periods in some of the titles. Galton thinks of these still lifes as portraits that connect the viewer to the cycles of the natural world—specifically aging, decay and mortality.
Galton is a photo-based artist with an educational background in the natural sciences and over 30 years’ experience as a professional photographer in the editorial and commercial world. She graduated from Hiram College with a BA in Studio Art. Her work has been featured in galleries throughout the US and Europe. Most recently, it has been shown at The Center for Fine Art Photography, the Center for Photographic Art and at the Beth Urdang Gallery. She has received many awards, including the Graphis Photography Gold Award, and won first place in the PDN Taste Awards, among others. Galton’s Cut Food series was featured in The Picture Professional and on BusinessInsider.com, People.com, Time.com and WashingtonPost.com. Galton lives and works in New York City.
(Photo courtesy of the artist.)