As a photographer, David Sherman is most well-known for being the official photographer of Target Center and his portraiture of Holocaust survivors for the Transfer of Memory exhibition that has traveled around the state for several years under the auspices of the JCRC of Minnesota and the Dakotas. But in Outside the Lines – his first solo show at the Minnesota JCC– he reveals that he can do plenty more with his camera than capturing basketball players dunking.
The first work that visitors encounter as they enter the Tychman Shapiro Gallery is a striking single-exposure photo titled “Indifference.” The figures in the piece are captured while in motion, their forms merging with one another in perpetual transformation. The result is a far different outcome than the crystal clear sharply exposed nanoseconds he has masterfully produced as an accomplished professional sports photographer.
“I knew I wanted to show my print entitled ‘Indifference’ and the process I used to create the image. It’s a really important image to me,” said Sherman. “I also knew I wanted to have an element of Transfer of Memory and my work touching on topics of social justice”
“When we first began talking about what’s most exciting for him to show, I was pleasantly surprised of the range of work he’s done outside of the sports arena,” said Ben Cohen, the JCC’s Director of Arts, Culture and Enrichment. “I was somewhat expecting him to show me a greatest hits of all his entertainment and sports work, but that is not what he led with. I could not be more pleased with the depth of these works.”
“Indifference” is a photograph that was created in 2017 as a part of an exhibition called “Retelling,” which was a collaboration at the JCC in conjunction with the University of Minnesota. Local artists used Fritz Hershberger paintings as inspiration to retell his story through a different medium. Sherman used four models and an innovative photographic technique to get the result he was looking for.
“What I love about this is I turned photography upside down,” he said. “A darkened room and the shutter is locked open. And then I popped the flash to stop the action and create the image. When I had the initial inspiration, I knew exactly what I wanted to do.”
Cohen said the wall featuring “Indifference” is one of his favorite works in the exhibition.
“If you just peek into the gallery, that large print of “Indifference” is almost jumping off the wall,” Cohen said. “There’s a dimensionality to it that every time I’m at the J I stop and look at it more than once.”
The exhibition also includes a new presentation of the subjects from Sherman’s Transfer of Memory project. The original traveling exhibit features large 16-by-24-inch color photos accompanying stories about each survivor written by Lili Chester. In Outside the Lines, Sherman printed an alternative take of each of his subjects in smaller black and white prints that require the viewer to get up close to the survivors.
The third major piece in the exhibit is a series of photographs of former Minnesota Lynx star Candice Wiggins remaking famous images of the 1960s and 70s of Black artists, civil rights leaders, actors, and the Black Panthers.
“I was excited to include this because I had never shown it publicly like this,” Sherman said. “This project is about othering as well. It was Wiggins’ idea to recreate images about the Black Panther movement and Black exploitation movies.
“I set out to make beautiful portraits. And through collaboration, it all came together as these projects about othering.”
But Sherman did pick some basketball images, but none of game footage.
“I selected images that demonstrate different lighting,” he said. “ I just didn’t feel like I could do a gallery and not have any basketball.”
The exhibit is on display through June 20. Gallery hours are available on the JCC website.
This article is sponsored content from the Minnesota JCC as part of TC Jewfolk’s Partnership program. For more information, check out our media kit.