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The Student News Site of California State University, Stanislaus

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The Student News Site of California State University, Stanislaus

Signal

‘A Retrospective’ review: A new lens

Roman Loranc looks at the familiar Central Valley with a fresh point of view in his exhibit, “A Retrospective,” currently on display at the Carnegie Arts Center in Turlock.
His photographs of the Central Valley, many of which are silver gelatin photos, evoke a mystical and sometimes eerie feeling.
With 63 pieces in this collection, there is more than enough to keep the eye busy. The walls of the gallery are covered with photos from Los Banos all the way to San Francisco. Three additional walls feature some of Loranc’s work from Poland (his homeland), Italy and Croatia. To add a special touch, a pedestal holds one of Loranc’s cameras. And though he sells some duplicates, Loranc’s work is limited due to the type of film he uses.
Simple quotes and life experiences from Loranc provide context for his artwork. I appreciated this aspect, as it helped me to further understand and feel what he is trying to portray.
In Loranc’s work, “Tules,” taken in 2008, triangles, parallel lines and other geometrical shapes can be found in reflections on the water or in the organic shapes captured. This is just one example of the variety shown in his exhibit, whereas some of his other works feature more natural shapes, such as clouds and mountains.
“Almond Orchard,” taken in 1998, features two rows of almond trees split by a dirt road. As the eye follows the dirt road, it makes one wonder what could be at the end of it. Though no color is used, the contrast of the black-and-white image makes the trees pop out. A cleverly added history of the almonds in the Central Valley link them to Loranc by revealing their nonnative origin, a reminder of the beauty Loranc’s outsider perspective can bring out of what we may see as simple, everyday scenery.
A comical story of Loranc standing in the water struggling to get out adds a touch of devotion to the piece, “Backwater,” taken in 1998. Dark branches from multiple trees entangle themselves around the pond, creating a web-like weave. The print evokes a haunting feeling as fog creeps across the gloomy, secluded water.
Roman Loranc’s “A Retrospective” was so intriguing that I visited it more than once; its black-and-white and sepia images are a must see – and not just for Central Valley residents.
“A Retrospective” is on display at the Carnegie Arts Center until March 23, Wednesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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‘A Retrospective’ review: A new lens