Katrina, Immortalized in Oil

By Jessica Dawson
Saturday, July 21, 2007

· Media coverage of Hurricane Katrina beamed the bayou nightmare into homes nationwide. Yet the impact of those pictures declined in the weeks that followed as fresh global disasters grabbed our attention. The brief half-life of the news photograph is the subject, in part, of Joy Garnett's powerful canvases transposing Katrina press images to oil and canvas. Thick paint and big brushstrokes obscure details from source photographs while preserving a sense of apocalyptic despair. Paradoxically, Garnett's project immortalizes the ephemeral while riffing, too, on the false reality photographs present.

"Strange Weather: New Paintings by Joy Garnett" at the Upstairs Gallery, National Academy of Sciences, 2100 C St. NW, Monday-Friday 9 a.m.-5 p.m., 202-334-2436, to July 30;http://www.national-academies.org/arts.

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