I have known for almost a month the review was coming and the September issue has been out for a few days now, but I have been too apprehensive to pick it up until today. I was so nervous I had my husband read it first while I browsed the fiction aisle. When I came back he was smiling.
Here's the review by Richard Chang:
In her first solo exhibition, titled "Domesticated," Amy Stein explored the point where the civilized world and wild-animal habitats. For her compelling photographs, the artist restages real encounters between humans and animals. The scenes are united by their setting: the area in and around Matamoras, a small town in northeast Pennsylvania that borders a state forest.Whew!
Stein specializes in unexpected juxtapositions. In Nursery (2007) a spotted doe appears to have just awakened in a greenhouse among meticulously organized flowers, cacti, and hanging potted plants. Watering Hole (2005) features a young girl in a blue bathing suit standing on the edge of a diving board, staring down a large bear poised on its hind legs. Only a low chain-link fence separates them.
The narratives are enhanced by Stein's formal skill. Trasheaters (2005), showing two coyotes picking over spilled garbage outside a suburban ranch house, contrasts the animals' natural grace with hard geometry of the circular metal trash can, the triangular roofline, and three rectangular windows emitting a harsh yellow light as a sign of nearby human presence.
Backyard (2007) shows a hunter behind a chain-link fence, aiming his rifle at a turkey trotting across a snow-covered meadow. The placement of the hunter makes it look as if he's the one confined. Through such clever scene-setting, Stein reveals the contradictions inherent in mankind's twin impulses to join nature and to tame it.