BLAIR RESIKA is a multi-talented woman: professional singer, photographer, and graphic designer. This second exhibition with Berta Walker Gallery will include a variety of subjects photographed by Resika throughout her career including the stray dogs of Mexico; bulls in pastures; dishes and dinners; her cats, her husband Paul Resika in his studio or painting in the landscapes. More than a visual journal, these photographs reflect the sensibilities of a woman with a strong sense of the formal qualities of picture-making.
“I became serious about doing photography in the 1960s, documenting my husband, artist Paul Resika, in his studio, painting en plein air, or socializing with family and friends. I learned to move fast, and stay out of view, as he really doesn’t like me taking picture while he’s painting. Over time, and with practice and learning more deeply the various elements of black and white photography – textures, reflections, structural composition – my interest expanded from documentation to making, I hope, compelling images in their own right. The landscape and the interiors of rooms (and often the relationship between them) has been of continuing interest to me, as well as portraits, animals, and, of course, Paul Resika, and his models.
Blair Resika, daughter of artist parents, identified her passion for both photography and music at the young age of 12. She was schooled as a graphic designer, and spent many years in the graphic arts at McCall’s, Time-Life Music, etc., letting go of the arts to concentrate on her design career. At the urging of her second husband, Paul Resika, she took up her studies again in music at age 35. She received her first professional operatic role at 39. Throughout her career, Blair has performed classical music, returning more recently to her earlier interests in jazz and folk music. Discussing her double career in the arts with writer Elizabeth Winton in “Cape Arts Review”, Blair Resika says, “music and photography are two totally different things – they couldn’t be more different. Music is in your body, it’s more like dancing, and it’s all inside. And the photography is completely visual. It’s a rather fascinating balance.”
Past Curator of Photography at the Museum of Modern Art John Szarkowsky originally selected many of the photos included in this show for Blair Resika’s first exhibition at the Berta Walker Gallery in 2004. Then the exhibition changed to focus completely on Paul Resika at work in the studio and in nature. Thus many of Szarkowsky’s selections will be included in this show of landscapes and interiors.