VSOP Projects hosts first solo exhibition from photographer David Benthal

The “Stars & Roses” exhibition emphasizes light, scale and contrast. (Credit: David Benthal)

The latest exhibit at VSOP Projects in Greenport shines a light on familiar objects and scenes through the lens of Greenport photographer David Benthal.

“Stars & Roses” is Benthal’s first solo exhibition. It’s also the first by a local artist at the newly opened Front Street gallery.

The 12-piece collection emphasizes the essential elements of photography— light, scale and contrast — to coax out the dramatic details in local landscapes and everyday items like baseballs.

“David’s work is deceptively simple,” said VSOP Projects owner and artist Jonathan Weiskopf. “Much great artwork disguises the labor of its creation. It’s what drew me to his work. It looks effortless, but the time and skill behind the scenes takes great precision.”

“Stars & Roses” is reflective of the subjects in both a literal and figurative sense, Weiskopf noted.

“The collection is a constellation,” he said. “There’s not a question, there’s a cosmic theme with the night skies. But the balls he photographed are seemingly suspended in air — as if they were reimagined to be cosmic objects.”

The exhibition, which includes a moving picture display, is a departure from Benthal’s work as an editorial and portrait-based photographer. His photographs have been featured in Vanity Fair, Bon Appetite and northforker magazine.

“Since my work is mostly commissioned, I never really thought of showing in a gallery setting,” he said. “It has been a really interesting experience to put my work together in such a different way. The fact that I’m showing in my hometown, in a gallery three blocks from my house, is especially gratifying.”

Benthal’s collaboration with Weiskopf began last spring when he was hired to photograph the new gallery space as well as its grand opening in May. They have been working together since September to curate the exhibit with Benthal taking special care to edit and revisit each photo until it was perfected.

“Most of my work is not what you’d generally see in a gallery,” he said. “With guidance from Jonathon as far as subject matter, I created all of these photographs specifically for this show. In creating all the images together in the last several months, they’ve become a complete set for me.”

An opening reception for “Stars & Roses” is planned for Saturday, March 17 from 6 to 8 p.m. Refreshments will be served and prints of the artwork will be available for purchase. The exhibition is on display through Monday, April 23.

VSOP Projects is located at 311 Front Street in Greenport.

cmurray@timesreview.com