i’ve decided to move on from Soho Photo as they were not meeting my expectations or needs in a gallery. as Susan Sontag said “In America, the photographer is not simply the person who records the past, but the one who invents it.”
i found very few inventive photographic artists involved with the gallery. that’s not to say that there aren’t some very good photographers involved with the gallery. but some of the exhibits show a total lack of creativity, in my opinon.maybe it’s an age thing as the members seem to be much older than i but they aren’t really.
how one gets into the gallery is to submit a portfolio on their portfolio review day to the Booking Committee made up of members of the gallery who then reviews the submitted portfolio. the guidelines aren’t very specific other than saying ‘No books’ but a selection of your best work is suggested. what is not said i believe, is they want to see a portfolio of work that is ready to go on the walls.
i was rejected my first time as have been some friends of mine for having a too wide a range of subjects in my portfolio. by not giving specific instructions it gives the committee wiggle room to reject anything they so choose on any grounds. what may play an important role in acceptance to the gallery is who you know.some get accepted on their fist try while other very strong photogs are turned away.
i have been rejected three times by the gallery so far, once in the beginning and twice for a membership upgrade. once i was told the Committee reviewing my portfolio ‘didn’t feel like dancing’ after see my work to which Mary replied ‘because they are too old!’
in the two years i was involved with the gallery it seemed more a social club than a serious gallery. Soho Photo seems to have evolved into a vanity gallery with no serious press coverage or outside critical review.
i am sure i didn’t endear myself to the members when i asked at a business meeting ‘why would i want to be a member of Soho Photo?’ i think that’s a valid question. it’s a place to show your work only if the booking committee accepts your submission. they can reject your work on any grounds even after you become a member so there is a group censorship.they call it protecting other members.
with exhibit space at a premium in New York City it’s so hard for artist/photographer to be seen much less reviewed in the press that finding a clean lighted place to show your work can be critical in ones career, but so can association.
i have found in my life when one door closes another opens and it’s usually a better place as life is progressive. so it’s time to move one. where i don’t know but that’s not important. i have love in my life and i truly love what i do as well as the people around me.
i can now concentrate on the challenges at hand. working with a woman documenting her breast cancer journey.