Artist Jon DeBoer Discusses 'Detroit After Dark' At The DIA
Originally Posted On October 23, 2016
By: Amy Cooper, Detroit Ginger
The newest exhibition at the Detroit Institute of Arts isn't paintings or sculpture, but is focusing on Detroit and it's photography talent. The exhibition - entitled "Detroit After Dark" is showcasing multiple artists working with the photography medium, both in digital and film components.
The DIA explains the exhibit as "photographs of the city's glittering skylines, quiet streets, raucous nightclubs, and corner bars," which is an understatement once you see the actual photos being shared.
With black and white photography being the dominant of the works, artists like Jon DeBoer, the youngest of the talent chosen to be in the exhibit, stand out the most with the crisp tones and architectural pieces, while artists who documented concerts of yesteryear like Doug Coombe shared old flicks of The White Stripes in their beginnings in vivid reds and whites.
Jon DeBoer, one of the most featured artists in the show, expressed his thoughts on the installation and how his work came to be in this carefully chosen exhibition.
Detroit Ginger: When it comes to your photography being showcased in this event, how did you choose what ones you wanted to highlight?
Jon DeBoer: DIA Curator, Nancy Barr, made the final selections for the exhibit. However, when I presented my work to Nancy I wanted to highlight images that depicted the unique atmosphere and mood of Detroit at night. I wanted to show a full range of scenes in the city; from downtown wide cityscapes to graffiti-filled underpasses and neighborhood party stores and bars. I chose images that I thought best represented my experiences over the past 7 years in Detroit and showcased the unique beauty of the city.
One of the prints I have at the DIA that I haven't posted online before. From a great night last year with @j_bibb. Special thanks to @jeffgaydash for doing an amazing job with the printing. Campus Martius 2015 #afterdarkdetroit #detroit #blackandwhite #detroitphotographer #nightphotography #DIADetroit
Detroit Ginger: What does it mean to you to be showcased in an event such as this with many talented photographers that have photographs that range back in the earlier days of Detroit, and yours being the current representation of what Detroit is today?
It’s an incredible honor to have my work on the walls of the DIA next to legendary photographers such as Robert Frank, Berenice Abbott, and Brassai along with talented Detroit photographers Ralph Jones, Dave Jordano, Scott Hocking, Jenny Risher and others. I was especially inspired by Brassai’s night photography and have been following Dave Jordano’s Detroit work for many years, so it means a lot to me to have my work exhibited next to theirs.
I was motivated to continue to photograph Detroit more after witnessing renewal and renovation projects downtown as well as demolition of buildings and removal of street art. I wanted to capture and preserve these images before the city looked completely different. In that sense, I think the photos in Detroit After Dark are representative of the city and tell the story of Detroit in this current time of transition and renewal.
The exhibit is free entry, and for those who are residents of Wayne, Oakland, and Macomb counties, the admission to the DIA is also free. To find out more information, check out DIA.org/DetroitAfterDark. Pictures are also encouraged to be uploaded to social media when you visit, so make sure to remember to hashtag your shots with #AfterDarkDetroit! The exhibit is running from now till April 23, 2017.