Brenda Biondo: Play Comes to The San Diego Museum of Art
Brenda Biondo: Play brings together 25 photographs from two bodies of work. The first series, Playground, is a collection of contemporary photographs of children’s playgrounds from the 1920s to the 1970s. After visiting a modern playground with her children and observing the striking differences from the play equipment of her childhood, Biondo was inspired to capture the nostalgic cultural artifacts that shaped generations of Americans in an effort to preserve their place in history. Today these classic playground structures are considered a safety hazard, and Biondo estimates that at least half of those photographed in this series have now been destroyed.
This collection of works, which was published in Once Upon a Playground: A Celebration of Classic American Playgrounds, 1920-1975 (2014), is accompanied by original catalogues, brochures and advertisements of playground structures that contrast the images of abandoned and rusted playgrounds.
The second series of works, Paper Skies, includes carefully crafted, abstract images of the sky printed onto aluminum panels. These images are created by printing photographs of blue sky, gray clouds and warm sunsets, and cutting, folding, and re-photographing them against the sky. The results are beautifully complex shapes and angles that appear almost digitally created.
Before becoming a professional photographer, Biondo worked as a writer specializing in environmental issues. She brings her passion for conservation to her photography, and is inspired by the way cultural artifacts move from the past into the present. Biondo’s works can be found in museum collections around the United States, including the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., and the Museum of Photographic Arts in San Diego.
Brenda Biondo: Play is organized by Ariel Plotek, Ph.D., Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at The San Diego Museum of Art. The exhibition will be accompanied by programming, including an artist talk on Saturday, July 8 at 11:00 a.m.