Art: Mauney’s Nocturnal Transmissions

Fireflies by Pete Mauney.

Pete Mauney lives in Tivoli, watches the night sky, and makes art out of the sort of wonderings so many of us have each summer. His solo exhibition opening at the Kleinert/James Arts Center this week, Pete Mauney: Nocturnal Transmissions, captures that moment when fireflies appear to morph into stars; the vivid visual arrays some of us take our kids to see, when very young, at airports; as well as that special beauty which occurs when we closely watch a singular stretch of landscape for a long time.

“Patterns of flash, seemingly random patterns of travel, unpredictability, and overwhelming beauty is the experience. I’ve been lucky enough to capture some reflections of that experience with my cameras,” the photographer has said of his work, large printed and immersive. 

He’ll talk about what he does, what he sees and works to recreate and enhance, in a 3 p.m. artist’s talk on Saturday, July 6, before the 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. opening reception for Nocturnal Transmissions at the Kleinert in Woodstock. 

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The show includes three disparate but interconnected thematic bodies of Mauney’s work. One focuses (and not) on the magic of summer fireflies, which the artist transforms into pulsing green color fields of bioluminescence with the use of long exposures. Another set of photos explores the light above and around airports, capturing rare beauty in the “simultaneously rigidly ordered (in engineering, execution and protocol) and deliciously abstract (in the visual).” Finally, in About a Mile, Either Way, Give or Take, the artist creates a portrait of a roughly two-mile stretch of the Hudson River extending north and south from the village where he lives and walks. Calling the photographs in the series “at turns beautiful, neutral, and repulsive,” Mauney explains that he works to mirror the complexities of life itself.

Mauney studied film at NYU before going on to receive his BA and MFA in photography from Bard College. Photography was introduced to him at an early age and he’s long specialized in night shoots. He’s lived in Tivoli with his wife and kids for over three decades.

Pete Mauney: Nocturnal Transmissions, which opens with an artists talk and reception on Saturday, July 6, at the Kleinert/James Center for the Arts, 34 Tinker Street, Woodstock, will be on view through September 8. Visit woodstockguild.org or call 679-2079 for further information.

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