By David Brickman
In the inevitable push-pull between form and content that lies behind all photographic imagery, the work of Marie Triller falls squarely in the middle of the argument. But it’s a pretty big middle and, as seen in the just-published collection titled Ten Years: Remembering 9/11 ($29.95, John Isaacs Books), her work covers much of that range.
Triller, who earned an MFA at SUNY New Paltz and works as a high school art teacher, has had a quiet but persistent presence on the Capital Region art scene for decades, and for much of that time she has exhibited expertly made, digitally captured color photographs that represent human culture, often from travels to distant places such as Belize, Ireland, and the American Southwest. One might argue that these pictures were clearly documentary in purpose – and that would be true – but it is equally true that they were intended as personal artistic expression. The pictures presented in Triller’s new book are no exception to this duality.
Beginning with a full-bleed cover shot of a motorcycle gas tank embellished with an exquisite painting of a New York City skyline dominated by hovering ghosts of the twin towers of the World Trade Center, the book teases the eye as much as it plucks at the heart strings. Immediately, the parameters are shown: This photographer use color, shape, composition, and point of view in ways that your everyday documentary photographers do not.