Safian seems to be a dreamier type. His Time Machines (above) is a magical-realism poem. Safian found an odd mural showing old-timey cars, carnival figures, and gangster types and staked out his shot for a full week. "I've seen him waiting for three hours on the street in the cold, waiting for some passerby to pass a mural," notes Shanidze. "This guy is something." Finally, circumstances produced a car parked in front of the mural and a figure walking past. The resulting photograph is a dreamlike image of floating and mysteriously interacting painted and real-life forms. "Old cars painted on the wall, old man walking by, two men on the mural are neither here nor there. . . . It wakes up some thoughts about Time, doesn't it?" says Safian.
Tumanova's digital prints, e-mailed from Moscow and printed here by Shanidze, parody impressionists, particularly Renoir. One joyous self-portrait of Tumanova in a rose-corsaged dress shows computer-produced brushstrokes and colors, blurring the visual difference between photography and painting.
The three artists' work is on display at Dave's through Friday, April 4. (There's a reception on closing day, with a chance to meet Shanidze and Safian.)
[Originally published in April, 2003.]