Black Curl (CMY/Five Magnet: Irvine, California, March 25, 2010, Fujicolor Cyrstal Archive Super Type C, EM No 165-021, 05910) is a visually compelling photogram. Bold shapes, and the breaks between them, create a rhythm and compose an engaging abstract image. At the same time, the work deals with the conditions of the photograph’s manufacture. The literal production of a photograph—the process of photo developing and printing—is the work’s subject, and Beshty slyly points to the ways in which these material processes possess their own aesthetic appeal and content.
Walead Beshty explores photography’s ability to capture contemporary social and political conditions. Often striking in their visual presence, his work reflects the circulation of images both in a general sense and in the literal movement of photographs and objects. They also convey another narrative: the history and the processes that construct both the world and his art.