October 5 - November 7, 1993
Obliged by Nature features work from 1983–1993 by Chicago artist Paul Rosin. Rosin’s photographs are vivid depictions of people, places, and things in a psychically, often sexually charged state, viewed through an ambiguous lens of wary curiosity and empathetic involvement. His oeuvre explores four recurring themes: portraits of bohemians in the sex-drugs-and rock’n’roll genre; mythological allusions that incorporate personal and collective memories; sharp commentaries that challenge cultural prohibitions; and an idiosyncratic obsession with notions of fatigue.
Since 1980 Rosin has worked in a 20 x 16 inch, uniformly vertical format, framing his silver gelatin prints identically in heavy black frames. Frequently shooting his subjects through a distorting lens or skewing focus, he manipulates the negative surface by scarring, scratching, typing words, or altering the emulsion with chemicals. Finally, many of the black and white prints are toned, subtly hand-colored, or painted with oil or enamel, making each one a unique object.