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Tiny Photos on Display at TriBeCa Gallery

By Julie Shapiro | February 9, 2012 2:41pm
"Abstract Landscape #13" by Mike Cullen is less than an inch wide.
"Abstract Landscape #13" by Mike Cullen is less than an inch wide.
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DNAinfo/Julie Shapiro

TRIBECA — In a big city known for its big art, one TriBeCa gallery is going small.

Soho Photo Gallery's Small Works exhibit, which opened Wednesday, showcases more than 170 minuscule photographs, including some that are less than an inch wide.

Apart from their size — 6 inches tall by 6 inches wide, or smaller — the photos have little else in common. Some take size as a cue and portray small objects, like saltshakers or wedding rings, while others capture snow-swept landscapes, cloudy sunsets and New York landmarks like the Brooklyn Bridge.

The smallest photos are by Mike Cullen, 51, who lives in Brooklyn.

Cullen's "Abstract Landscape #13" shows a tiny tree backlit by the sun, with its shadow stretching forward across a narrow sweep of grass. It is half an inch wide and just under 2 inches tall.

"There's something about having a delicate little flower [of a photo]," Cullen said. "It's very quiet and gentle. You can look into it and see what you want to see."

Many of the show's photos are so small that viewers must get very close to them to see what they contain, creating a sense of peering into a different world.

That's what Larry Davis, a member of the gallery who produces only small photos, likes about the medium.

"I shoot small because I really relate to the intimacy," Davis said. "You're forced to go in close and [have] some sort of emotional reaction to it close up. You're safe to have that reaction because no one is standing next to you. It's very private."

The gallery is showing small photos by both its members and the winners of a national competition that drew 600 submissions from 94 photographers and was judged by Karen Marks, the director at The Howard Greenberg Gallery.

First place went to Pat Beary, who sent in an artful series of photos of textured pieces of handmade paper, taken in a Paris shop.

Small Works will be on display at the Soho Photo Gallery, 15 White St., through March 3. The gallery is open Wednesday to Sunday from 1 to 6 p.m. and will hold an opening reception Feb. 9 from 6 to 8 p.m.