For a master manipulator and embellisher of the truth, photographer Ed Freeman is a remarkably honest man. On his website (, he explains graphically and verbally how he's retouched, fixed, enhanced and flat-out lied in his photographs -- and they're still amazing even when he's revealed all his tricks. In his Underwater series, Freeman (a non-swimmer) photographs nude models cavorting in a swimming pool. The raw pictures are often dim and murky, so he processes them on a computer to enhance the lighting. While he's doing that he repositions bodies, replicates the models in duplicate or triplicate and rebuilds the photograph completely. What began as a blurry human blob becomes a luminous portrait of beautiful human bodies adrift in whorls of bubbles and viscous light. It's simultaneously high art and high artifice. Freeman exhibits this series as part of Waterworld, the new show at the phd gallery. Also exhibiting is glass sculptor Michelle Hamilton, who builds fantastic forms that evoke the radial symmetry of aquatic creatures such as sea anemones and medusae. The show opens with a free public reception from 7 to 10 p.m. Saturday, March 9. The show remains up through Saturday, May 18, and the gallery is open Thursday through Sunday.
Thursdays-Sundays. Starts: March 9. Continues through May 18, 2013

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