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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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The BattalionMay 4, 2024

Artists shoot truth and lies

 
 

In the Stark Galleries latest exhibition, The Absolute Truth Nothing But Lies, photographers Dave Einsel and Robert Sebree fuse reality and make-believe in a myriad of realistic and distorted photography.
Though they come from similar backgrounds, Texas A&M alumni Einsel (81) and Sebree (82) have taken two very different professional paths. The artists met at Texas A&M, both having come from military families, and worked together photographing for publications such as The Battalion and the Aggieland Yearbook. Whereas Einsel took a more photojournalistic approach with his career, Sebree now has a studio in L.A. where he photographs celebrities such as Jennifer Lopez, Eric Clapton and Shaquille ONeal, to name a few.
Though the two have been separated for quite a while, Einsels and Sebrees pieces come together for the newest exhibit at the MSC.
[Einsel] really inspired me to do more with my photography when we were at school, Robert Sebree, photographer and member of the Texas A&M class of 1982 said. Weve made the show a collaborative effort to push each other with our work.
As the title of the exhibit suggests, the overarching theme of the display has to do with the juxtaposition of reality and fantasy. One side of the exhibit is marked with the word Truth.. This side exclusively features the work of Dave Einsel, who simply captured his experiences around the world through the lens of a camera.
The other side of the exhibit, marked Lies, showcases Sebrees art: colorful and heavily manipulated photographs of artists, athletes, actors, and other celebrities. Both artists works meet in the middle, hung in pairs side by side.
Were both fans of each others work but we both do very different work Einsel said. I think our work compliments each other so well that it just works. Im still trying to get my head around it.
Its interesting. Some of its shocking, but I think thats the approach theyre looking for, Steven Cutting, senior economics major and student worker at the J. Wayne Stark Galleries said.
Many of the photos feature victims of drug wars, mass genocide and poverty.
It shows that violence hasnt really gone away. Its still prevailing, Cameron Park, junior environmental geoscience major said.
Greg Phillipy, Curator of Education Public Programs at the University Art Galleries, said he believes the exhibit is about reunion and different perspectives on a specific theme.
Each of the photos has a story, Phillipy said. To me the exhibit is about their friendship and two lives that were connected as Aggie students, each in a different career path; two different approaches to a central theme
The exhibit is composed of several contrasting views and specific installations that show similar, paired images in different ways. One such display in the exhibit highlights the use of a cross to make different points, another demonstrating the use of blood and the theme of death in dissimilar ways.
The symbols are the same but the interpretation they use and the iconography, the imagery is completely different, Phillipy said.
Sebree said the show was hard to explain, but that he and Einsel hope to evoke some type of response from audiences.
Its tough to define, Sebree said. I would describe it as an experiment. Were just trying to see what response we get.

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