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David Ricci
Edge of Chaos

David Ricci, Lawnmower, C-Print, 2003/2010, Edition 2/5, Signed Verso.

Artist Statement
Several years ago I became intrigued by complexity science, the field of study in which researchers investigate what occurs when large quantities of individual elements are assembled into increasingly complicated systems. They have observed that, at some high level of organization, bordering on chaos, a new structure arises: something that is not just complicated, but rather an entirely new entity that is both greater than the sum of its parts and essentially different from those elements that produced it. The magical region where this powerful phenomenon unexpectedly appears is called the Edge of Chaos. Like free jazz, everything isn’t always in perfect harmony, yet a novel, vibrant music can be heard.

I recognized in this discipline a strong connection with the direction my photography work was headed as I found myself drawn to a wide range of visually complex, haphazard scenes. The photographs of building demolitions, dismantled factories, and natural disasters speak of loss and devastation. The scrap metal heaps comment on our consumer society while the images of fishing nets, buoys, and other gear at commercial fishing piers evoke the working waterfront. However, by precisely positioning the camera to emphasize rhythms, patterns, visual motifs, and other formal aspects, I try to orchestrate the complex mass of visual elements. When successful, emerging from the randomness, the rubble, the destruction, the tired day’s work is an intricate, loosely structured whole.

At the heart of these photographs is my attempt to recognize an unexpected beauty at sites generally thought to be aesthetically barren, to hear the music buried beneath the noise, to discover those mystical, magical moments found at the Edge of Chaos.

Artist Bio
Soon after obtaining his Masters degree in Biomedical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, David Ricci’s life took a detour into the magical world of photography. Completely self-taught, his earliest work involved a minimalist, geometric approach to architectural subjects. Subsequently he became intrigued with the work of several of the “New Color” photographers and many 20th century painters, particularly the Abstract Expressionists and Photorealists. These studies influenced much of the work that followed, including a long-term project photographing at recreational sites throughout America. His approach reveals the artificial, surreal character of these environments while using an underlying geometric structure to create visually complex images. Several recent bodies of work include Thicket, Wave, and Wikipedia, exploring new territory.

Ricci has exhibited widely including solo exhibitions at the Fogg Museum; the Berkshire Museum; the Art Complex Museum; Iris Gallery; Panopticon Gallery; University of Massachusetts Amherst; University of Massachusetts Lowell; and Brown University. He has also participated in group exhibitions at the deCordova Sculpture Park + Museum; the Danforth Museum of Art; the Fleming Museum; and Rosenberg+Kaufman Gallery. He was the recipient of the Annual Curator’s Award given by the Center for Photographic Arts in Carmel, CA. His work is in several collections including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Fogg Museum, Noyes Museum, Winnipeg Art Gallery, and the Smith College Museum of Art. He is represented in Boston, Aspen, and the Berkshires by Iris Gallery and in New York by Stephen Rosenberg. He lives and works in the Berkshires in western Massachusetts.