Aneta Bartos- Boys- Exhibition- The Carlton Arms Hotel

Aneta Bartos - Boys - Rob, 2012.

Boys is an exhibition of twelve photographs that create a newly interpreted female gaze through their depiction of male vulnerability. In these images, Bartos records private sexual moments of her subjects: men who have agreed to let her photograph them masturbating in the small, dimly lit rooms of the Carlton Arms Hotel in New York City. The images are gritty and sexually charged, challenging the male eye of art history while paying homage to the pictorial movement of artists such as Julia Margaret Cameron and Edward Steichen.

Bartos’ practice serves as a reaction to the male gaze present in much of art history; specifically how female “muses” have been depicted through a heterosexual male lens. She assumes control of this history, describing her process as “grabbing the reigns of my expression and simply ‘manhandle’ the gaze.” The result is imagery that is as concerned with form as it is with power dynamics and the continued tensions between photographer and subject.

The photographs, made with a medium format camera, often use expired Polaroid film and only the available light from the hotel rooms. These dark, grainy, soft focus images capture the prolonged time and movement of Bartos’ subjects as she presses the shutter. While the men she photographs are performing intimate, personal acts for the camera, they are made anonymous by the low light and a long exposure. In many instances the subjects look more like gestural sculptures than people with actual identities.

The culmination of Boys, as exhibited in two rooms of the Carlton Arms, brings the images back to their place of inception. In contrast to the white cube of a Chelsea gallery, they hang in a space where they can intimately interact with the viewer.

Aneta Bartos - Boys, Chris, 2011

Aneta Bartos was born in Poland and moved to New York City where she attended The School of Visual Arts. Most recently she was a part of 31 Women in Art Photography at Hasted Kraeutler, New York curated by Natalia Sacasa and Jon Feinstein. In 2012 she showed in a duo exhibition, Jack & Jill, curated by Anne Huntington. Also that year she was commissioned to create an installation for the opening of ACME Restaurant in New York City, curated by Neville Wakefield . In 2010 her collaboration 4Sale was exhibited in New York City, Moscow and Poznan, Poland. A year earlier, she debuted with a solo show at Artsource, New York. In 2007 she was chosen by Photo District News as their top choice for Emerging Photographers. Aneta's work has been featured in W Magazine, Interview Magazine, GUP Magazine, Dossier Journal, Artinfo, Modern Painters Daily, Paddle 8, GalleristNY, Time Magazine Online and New York Magazine among many others.

Jon Feinstein is a curator, photographer, and co-founder of Humble Arts Foundation. He has curated many exhibitions, most recently including "31 Women in Art Photography", at Hasted Kraeutler. He has been a guest critic for numerous portfolio reviews including Powerhouse Books, ICP, PDN's PhotoPlus, and ASMP. Jon is also a proud board member of Artbridge, a NYC based non-profit that gives exposure to emerging artists through public art exhibitions.

Boys, a solo exhibition of new work by Aneta Bartos, opening the evening of Thursday, January 31, 2013 from 6PM – 9PM at The Carlton Arms Hotel, located at 160 East 25th Street, Rooms 1A and 4A in New York City. The exhibition extends through February 21st, during which the rooms are accessible via a key at the front desk.
Interview with Anata Bartos : Aneta-Bartos/

Aneta Bartos - Boys, Johnny, 2011