Past Exhibitions

Corey Escoto: Sleight of Hand

July 19, 2014 – September 29, 2014



Carnegie Museum of Art showcases the not-so-instant experimental Polaroids of one of Pittsburgh’s most compelling young artists. 

As part of the city-wide 2014 Pittsburgh Biennial, Carnegie Museum of Art hosts an exhibition of recent works by Corey Escoto (b. 1983, Amarillo, TX). This is the artist’s first solo museum show, and the first one-person presentation of his work in Pittsburgh, which has been his home since 2010. Escoto has exhibited nationally and internationally, working in a variety of media, including photography, installation, and sculpture.

The exhibition brings together several bodies of Escoto’s work, in which he uses obsolete technologies and handcrafted processes to subvert digital culture’s slick, instantaneous nature, introducing elements of chance, humor, and human error. The works include, and expand upon, Escoto’s unique multi-exposure experimental Polaroids, which are produced with a modified large-format camera and hand-cut light-blocking stencils covering the light sensitive film surface. A related group of sculptures “reverse-engineer” the Polaroids, bringing the geometric forms born therein into three dimensions. Suggesting the flatness of a photograph, these objects invert the sensibility of the images on which they are based: while  Escoto’s images evoke depth, the sculptures emphasize surface, incorporating “faux” materials that mimic the texture of marble, wood, and fabric.

The two- and three-dimensional works of Corey Escoto meditate on the production and consumption of illusion, both in terms of what we accept as photographic truth and, more broadly, how we distinguish fact from fiction in an ever more manipulated, media-saturated world. By hacking the Polaroid—a commonplace and yet seemingly magical technology—Escoto reveals how readily we suspend our disbelief.

This exhibition is organized by Amanda Donnan, assistant curator of contemporary art.

Related events:
September 27: Direct Projections with Corey Escoto

Photography from every angle
Don't miss these other opportunities to explore photography at Carnegie Museum of Art:

The Hillman Photography Initiative, ongoing
Teenie Harris Photographs: Baseball in Pittsburgh, March 22–September 22, 2014
Photography in the Trenches, 19141918, June 4December, 2014
Storyteller: The Photographs of Duane Michals, November 1, 2014February 16, 2015 


Exhibition Credits

Support for the Pittsburgh Biennial has been provided by The Fine Foundation; Hillman Family Foundations; the James L. Baker Memorial Fund, the Hollen Bolmgren Fund, and the W. Alfred Turner Memorial Fund of The Pittsburgh Foundation; Richard King Mellon Foundation; Highmark; and an anonymous donor. Support for this presentation is provided by The Fellows of Carnegie Museum of Art. General operating support for Carnegie Museum of Art is provided by The Heinz Endowments and Allegheny Regional Asset District. Carnegie Museum of Art receives state arts funding support through a grant from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.