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Wall Street: Where the air is ripe with crisp Benjamins, Brooks Brother’s wool tweed, and leather bound briefcases hiding stock numbers, contracts, and crumpled up dreams. Manhattan is home to many famous addresses, but Wall Street is arguably one of the more infamous, where the one percentile from all over the world come to beat the odds. What better place then, for an exhibit of photographs evoking personal freedom and abandonment of all inhibitions to be situated at 55 Wall Street, in the elite Cipriani event space two blocks down from the New York Stock Exchange.
Austrian-born artist, Susanne Stemmer, has been photographing high fashion spreads for major brands ranging from LVMH to Chanel, and Swarovski. Stemmer specializes in underwater photography, and is represented by the WIDE PAINTING Gallery on Rue du Cardinal Lemoine in Paris. Using the effect of water combined with photo techniques like long exposure, filtered steadylights, flashlights, some color correction, Stemmer is able to tell a stunning story in just one image. She gives New York a departure from the masks we so often hide behind with Stemmer’s latest collection of photographs entitled, “Under Water.”
At 55 Wall Street until the 28th of March, “Under Water” exhibits, in one photograph, a man gracefully dancing beneath a liquid surface, feeling weightless and free, protected and comfortably encased by the water that surrounds him. In another, a woman alone in her thoughts and away from an intimidating and uncertain world floats along peacefully, even just for a moment. With titles like Immerse, Mask, Freedom, and Dissolve, this collection of photographs is intended to create a space where we, as individually struggling human beings, can let go of our masks, put down our insecurities, and just be purely real. The world can be a difficult place that drives each of us to hide behind a protective shield we are all guilty of creating for ourselves. Stemmer eloquently demonstrates how light we become when we release what binds us. “Under Water” is a sincere reminder, for an insincere world.
“Under Water” is on view at Cipriani Wall Street, 55 Wall Street, New York, NY 10005, through March 28, 2014.