New York Photo Review
NYPR Archives - 2010

Jeff Bark
Lucifer Falls
Jeff Bark, “Plate X from Lucifer Falls, 2010”

Jeff Bark produces fantasy mixed with menace in his latest photographic series, Lucifer Falls. As reviewer Kisa Lala of the Huffington Post put it, Bark’s images are “A beautiful place to die.”

Now, as sinister as that may sound and rightfully so, these large scale images of the beautiful waterfalls with naked bodies strewn out on the watery rocks below have a contemplative and quieted feel. Less of a graveyard and more like forest nymphs taking long naps. This dreamy and drowsy mood draws in the viewer, like the Sirens calling out to the sailors on the high seas.

The images would not be as effective if it were not for the large scale and wonderful techniques Bark employs. The dark tones of the natural landscape exaggerated the variety of melancholy blacks, blues and greens. This causes the fleshy hue of the nudes to become even more striking. The composition and the print quality give these oversized artworks a lush look and feel, as if you can reach out and touch the moss on the rocks or water splashing down. One of my favorite images is Plate V from Lucifer Falls, 2010, a close up of a pair of manly legs, wet and bare, clinging to the edges of wet and black rocks. This is a beautiful composition while creating a dramatic effect, which is somewhat different from the other photographs in the series.

Bark’s take on the eerie and yet beautiful subject matter in Lucifer Falls, lacks the spirit and electricity he provided in his previous series, Flesh Rainbow, with its unsettling imagery of faceless models captured in erotic sexual fantasy. In this current work, Bark’s lifeless nudes and waterfalls are pretty, but the lack of spirit leaves a numbing finish.

 by unidentified photographer.
Jeff Bark, “Plate V from Lucifer Falls, 2010”

Jeff Bark
Lucifer Falls

Hasted Hunt Kraeutler
537 W 24th St.
Chelsea         Map

212 627 0006

Thursday, September 9 to
Saturday, October 16, 2010
Hours: Tues-Sat, 11 to 6