s t i l l

April 4 - October 31, 2020



link to Press Release as pdf

Tomato Mouse is thrilled to present R. Carroll's first New York solo exhibition of photographs; still.

Twelve concise still lifes are framed within wooden boxes. Flowers, vegetables, a bird, a skull and simple objects are rendered with the intensity of painting and colors that emerge from the surface with startling insistence. The quiet austerity of these compositions records the touch of half alive textures, the comfort of the imperfect physical world. Velvety decadent material and alluring chroma upon close inspection reveal pores, bruises, wilts, asymmetrical clefts, surprising in today's world of glossed, filtered and algorithmically perfected faces and monoculture produce. Neither nature morte nor momento mori, the artist's composing of the scene within an explicit frame harmonizes processes of order and disorder, assembly and dispersal. You might want to freeze time at its most perfect or you might declare this moment perfect.

R Carroll's photographic practice has documented the lives of thousands of people, family, friends, acquaintances and strangers. In decades of portraiture he could never stop looking straight into the eyes, never escaped the wonder and doubt. He had long been obsessed with restaging the same events, obsessively tracking the cycles and repetitions of life. This new body of color digital prints is a break from his earlier black and white silver-gelatin solo and group portraits. These introspective new works compress uncertainty and redemption.

The camera is R Carroll's instrument in a compulsive search for truth that began when he picked up his first camera at age 6. He became serious about photography after leaving the navy in 1969 and attended night classes at the Memphis Art Academy and later studied at Everett Community College. He has exhibited widely in the Seattle area and photographed commissioned portraits since 1991.