At a time when the projection of celluloid film and the craft of the film projectionist are quickly vanishing, Joseph Holmes’s intimate portraits preserve a visual record of the people who devote their lives to the craft.
David Schwartz, Chief Curator, Museum of the Moving Image
For most of us who love going to the movies, the projection booth and what goes on in there is a bit of a mystery, if we even think about it at all. I, for one, am glad that Joe Holmes not only thinks about it, but has taken the time to document it in his unique way… Each image offers a glimpse into a private world that is all but gone…
Actor/director Steve Buscemi
Another bright cloud is seeing a good show by a friend and I finally got the chance this week to catch up with Joseph Holmes' current exhibition "The Urban Wilderness" at the Jen Bekman gallery in Soho.
Joe's pictures were taken in Brooklyn's Prospect Park, not Central Park, but they convey the same magical feeling of the urban metropolis transformed into a wintery Eden. And they're nearly all about dog walking! (As well as about light, and color, and composition.) Joe's values may be old-fashioned -- he's someone looking to find the sublime or the memorable in the everyday -- but his pictures have a nice contemporary feel due to their color and scale. And the show is a sure cure for those January blues!"
Chelsea Gallerist James Danziger
Joseph O. Holmes is a genius at making the familiar new. Any one of the 12 photographs here warrants many hours of viewing, subtle illuminating details only becoming apparent over time. Having spent his childhood in Pennsylvania often walking in the hills, farms and fields, he discovers similarities to that landscape here in the city. Shooting in a snowy Prospect Park, he sees things the rest of us would probably overlook. In a series where each photograph is more beautiful than the next, "Nethermead" is especially glorious, where people with their dogs look like sentinels in the snowy field, their animals like statues. In the distance, snow creates a cloud-like mist in the delicate branches of the trees.
In "The Sledding Hill," the people are mere dots in the white, specks of color clamoring up the hill or sliding down. The gray sky blends with the snow and they seem just transitory and insignificant disturbances in the wild. Nothing human interferes with "The Lake," where light showers from a thick layer of gray clouds onto the still and frozen lake. Almost ominous, "Entering the Nethermead" shows a lone figure in the landscape, with no points of reference. He or she might as well be in the wildest, most remote regions of Canada. Ingeniously exposed and thoughtfully composed, his works transport the viewer not only into another world but also into another state of consciousness.
City Arts - New York's Review of Culture
In a solo exhibit at Jen Bekman Gallery, lensman Joseph O. Holmes explores the idea of wilderness in the midst a teeming urban center.
Holmes, a long-time photographic chronicler of New York, turns his lens on some of the city's wide-open spaces. The result: snow-covered landscapes that are downright pastoral. Plan on seeing big bad New York in a whole new light.
-- WNYC Arts Datebook, Must-See Arts in the City
Joseph O. Holmes' stark, surreal portraits of Brooklyn's Prospect Park -- buried, in each photograph, under a landscape of white snow -- give an impression of Alaska. Just another reason to tuck yourself away in a warm dive bar before or after visiting this show.
-- Cooper Berkmoyer Flavorpill
Joseph Holmes uses people to tell the story of a vanishing trade. His starkly lit images in the Custom Machinery series depict men in small New York City repair or machine shops, who sit idly waiting. They have seen time pass them by, as a shift to mass production has created a world that throws away and replaces generic products instead of repairing and maintaining customized items. The juxtaposition with photographs of the machines only emphasizes the way machines and their keepers have changed in the face of technology. The photographs are weighed down by a saddening stillness that recalls a time when these tools would have been in constant use - all within the lifetime of these men.
-- Hannah Frieser, Director of Light Work (Syracuse NY), for the Houston Center of Photography's 28th Annual juried Exhibition. (Juror's Commendation)
Holmes's renderings have a lustrous gravity...
-- The Boston Globe, May 9, 2010
New York City is one of the most beautiful cities in the world -- and one of the most photographed. But if you think there's nothing that hasn't already been shot a thousand times, think again: enter street photographer Joseph O. Holmes. Each and every day, he posts a single shot on his blog, Joe's NYC, that captures New York in all its gritty glory. With an incredible eye for the quirky and obscure, Joe's NYC is a true delight.
-- James Oates, Vanity Fair's "Agenda"
Joe is capturing our adored city in a loving embrace that's equal to my own -- 'knowing that he is always looking reminds me to keep looking. And, I derive a certain comfort in knowing he's likely to discover and preserve some quintessentially New York tableau that I might of overlooked and definitely wouldn't have been able to photograph as he had."
-- Jen Bekman
What I like about [this charming picture] is the naturalness of the photograph combined with the originality of the image. It's an everyday scene made fresh and resonant by a photographer on top of his game.
-- Chelsea Gallerist James Danziger
, Danziger Projects, Picture of the Week
I am still kicking myself that I did not buy Joseph O. Holmes' wonderful photograph of a father holding his son in front of a display at the American Museum of Natural History.
-- Lisa Boone, "L.A. at Home" Los Angeles Times blog
Photographer Joseph Holmes, in his series "Texters," turns something we see everyday -- people just tapping away at the phones -- into works of art. Shot over a two-month period, they're like little slices of life.
Fashionistas. Orthodox Jews. Hipsters. Middle-aged guys playing chess in the park. Dudes at the beach. Art-museum patrons. Food-cart vendors. Young women commuting in the rain. Grown-ass men with bubble guns. In a new photo series by Joseph O. Holmes, which we spotted via Kottke, these characters all have one thing in common: they're texting. Each of the images that comprises Texters spotlights a person, usually in the midst of a beautiful, engaging urban setting, engrossed in typing on his or her cell phone. By sharpening his focus around the texter and letting the background go blurry, Holmes manages to underscore the way these devices can isolate us without coming across as harshly polemical.
Joseph O. Holmes's collection of photos inside the American Museum of Natural History in New York uses silhouettes of visitors to create an interplay between the ordinary and the exotic.
-- Condord Monitor, January 10
Joseph Holmes might've looked like any other tourist at New York's American Museum of Natural History, but in reality he was shooting them. A self-described street photographer, Holmes captured his species' interactions with historical dioramas depicting a prehuman Earth in his exhibit "Underexposed" (through Nov. 8). His scenes are surreal and wacky. It often seems that the animals are aware of their visitors. While the latter are nothing more than silhouettes to us (thanks to the museum's no-flash-photography rule), Holmes' images grant an intimate understanding of homo sapiens' curiosity.
-- Seattle Weekly, October 2008