November 29, 2020

May Gallery exhibits work of industrial photographer Stephen Mallon

Webster alumna Sandy Cooper views a photograph in the May Gallery. PHOTO BY MAX BOUVATTE

The images of manufactured objects protruding from the ocean are displayed on the walls. Photos such as a subway car being dumped in the ocean and a Navy destroyer being sunk into the Atlantic for an artificial reef were exhibited.

The May Gallery held an opening for the exhibition “Reframing the Machine,” a show featuring the video and photography of artist Stephen Mallon. Opening was held 5-7 p.m. on Friday, March 2.

“We kind of expanded the show to be a 10-year overview of the work I’ve been doing,” Mallon said.

Mallon traveled within the U.S. and Europe to capture the 15 images of industrial landscapes featured in the gallery.Mallon said his photography is directly connected with the industrial world. He is commissioned by a number of companies, including New York City’s department of transportation. He is working to produce a series a films for them. Mallon is also working on a series of personal projects.

Before the gallery’s opening reception, Mallon gave a lecture in Sverdrup 101 at 1 p.m. According to Mallon, approximately 70 people attended. Mallon said the audience included high school students touring the university, faculty, current students and dean of the School of Communications Debra Carpenter, whom Mallon said he was very eager to meet. Instructors and students from other universities and Webster alumni also attended the lecture.

​ May Gallery director Bill Barrett invited Mallon to present in the gallery a couple of years ago. Barrett and Mallon met through a social networking event in New York sponsored by the American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP), a national non-profit organization. Mallon is the former president of ASMP’s New York chapter.

Barrett and Mallon had originally planned to present a solo project of 20 photos, but as it got closer to the exhibition date, they decided to expand. The original project was a salvage operation of a New York plane crash in 2009.

“By the time the show arrived, it transformed a little bit because we realized that I had three different projects that were all connected to objects falling, or being in the ocean for different reasons,” Mallon said.

Barrett invited Erica Popp, photography instructor of Principia College, who brought along two of her students.

Gabe Korinek, Popp’s teacher’s assistant, accompanied Popp to the exhibition.

“I did enjoy the show. I loved the video,” Popp said.

In the video, Mallon presented the delivery of the Willis Avenue bridge.

“I really like the movie and talking to Stephen, who was really friendly and really approachable. I thought that was great,” Korinek said.

​ Mallon said he was pleased with the feedback he received on his photos. He also said he appreciated the audience’s enjoyment of his video.

“There were a lot of enthusiastic responses of people seeing the video,” Mallon said.

The photographs will remain in the May Gallery until March 30.

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