UNTOLD EXHIBITION / REVIEW
Review by Sally Wilmott of “Untold”: Men on Men Competition – Winner: Steve Edwards
Generally speaking, Steve Edwards is what every Melbournian aspires to be!
Not only is he a fiercely talented photographer, he’s half of a techo/trance duo called Asian Envy and a digital film artist for a humanitarian based organization.
On top of that he lives in three of the worlds most alluring cities; Melbourne, Tokyo and New York.
When you visit his exhibition, the iconic images and buzzing vibes in each shot, send you flying around the world too.
His love of Japanese art and popular culture are sited strongly in the album cover of his ‘Pet Shop Boys meets Presets’ band.
The digitalized work shows two men holding bloody saws standing battered and bruised (and dressed in childlike tiger ears) over an apocalyptic city skyline.
The plastic, bright and psychedelic feel captures the sound of the band. YouTube it!
Next, we scoot over the Pacific, to timeless New York City. Here hang crisp portraits with an edge. Steve’s friend sums up with place, saying ‘if you’re in love in New York, you’re on top of the world. If you’re depressed then it can seem like such a lonely place full of people just in it for themselves’.
Subsequently the photos are emotional and dynamic, grabbing you by the heart and throwing you into the scene of a single figure in the vast urban escarpment.
In one an old man stands, securing his over coat firmly around his chest and talking on the phone. The viewers beg for answers as to what he is saying?
Another shot is of a severely attractive Soho model, dressed decadently and gazing suggestively down the barrel and into the room.
Yet, it’s his Australian story that intrigues me most. The first painting that caught my eye when I entered the space, captures the side of a man’s face; where ever bristle, ever pore is exposed. This image, ‘The Groom’, won the 2011 Laird Hotel’s ‘ Men on Men’ photography competition and inspired the Untold Series.
Others include a man, skankily clad and sitting on a bed in a quintessential motel room (Steve admits it’s a memoir of a crazy weekend).
The artist’s favorites are two raw portraits of ‘Important People’ – “simply presenting them together as they are. It’s (Steve’s) story that remains untold”.
The Fridge Series is my concept of choice, where four images hang in sequence, shot from inside a fridge onto who might be at the other side. There are strong biblical references that resonate in each.
Dressed in drag, ‘Eve’ leans into retrieve an apple for her companion who stands behind, in ‘Adam and Eve’. ‘Gabriel’ features a half naked man, with tattooed angel wings spread across his chest; illuminated by the glow of the white light.
The representation of Jonathan and David is with two men opening the door, one wrapped around the other; a biblical narrative Steve sees as a ‘ semi-positive reinforcement of gay relationships.’
There is the promise of more amazing work by Steve, featured at the Laird Hotel who have requested another series to be shown of Steve’s getaway weekend at the Big Drift in Wilsons Prom.
There is something for every Melbournian in the Untold Series, so come along and embark on a journey across the world!