November 25, 2009  |  Collection & Exhibitions
Daniel Gordon in New Photography 2009

Oh! No mor­tal could sup­port the hor­ror of that coun­te­nance. A mummy again endued with ani­ma­tion could not be so hideous as that wretch. I had gazed on her while unfin­ished; she was ugly then, but when those mus­cles and joints were ren­dered capa­ble of motion, it became a thing such as even Dante could not have con­ceived.” —excerpt from Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein

Daniel Gordon‘s photographs elicit attraction and repulsion. They are irresistibly vibrant and tactile, but also surreal and grotesque. His works are not what  they appear to be at first glance. They look like collages, but upon further inspection the photographs reveal themselves to be pictures of sculptures.  The female figures in the photographs are cobbled together from found images on the Inter­net that the artist prints out and con­structs into three-dimensional tableaus.  The sculptures are photographed and then immediately disassembled so that the artist can use the body parts for new works. The works are made alive and exist only through the act of photography.

In this interview, I was intrigued to learn that Gordon compares himself to Dr. Frankenstein. Without a live muse or model, Gordon creates his own figures to be manipulated and posed. In thinking about the long relationship between (male) artist and (female) muse in art and literature, Gordon has created his own world that balances precariously between the terrifying and beautiful.