In a day and age where photographing celebrities is a multi-million dollar business, seeing the photographs of Gary Lee Boas only complicates this already murky water. On view at Country Club Projects in Cincinnati, Boas’ exhibition Sentimental Journey shows a series of beautifully nostalgic celebrity images referencing a very familiar place and time, while questioning the roll of the celebrity image, the fan and the photographer. Showing personal fan photographs that were taken in the 60’s and 70’s of highly publicized celebrities before the age of paparazzi, Boas’ images instantly give you vision into our current world of hyper celebrity combined with capitalist gain. Through the lens of memory and nostalgia, these photographs give you a glimpse into the life of a fan and our culture’s obsession with fame, fortune, and celebrity, yet somehow also provide the viewer with the odd relationship between artist and audience. Boas constructs a system in which one can observe celebrity without inherent criticism, where obsession is beautiful and where our culture is worth questioning and celebrating.
Gary Lee Boas lives and works in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. His recent exhibitions have included the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art in Scottsdale, Arizona, Reflex Modern Art Gallery in Amsterdam, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco and Deitch Projects, in New York.