Mallouk on Main
Ya gotta love Clint’s Bakery and Coffee House. Not only are the java and fresh-made baked goods delicious, but the art displayed on the walls is usually worth a look – and maybe even owning.Manager Laura Komeshian, who also happens to be the chief baker and curator, puts together a show of a different local artist’s work every three months. The art gracing the shop’s two rooms might be mixed media creations, paintings, or as in the present case, photography.However, the preponderance of landscape photography found in Summit County makes it almost impossible to see something that hasn’t already been recorded on film. Prints of the Maroon Bells, Utah’s Arches National Park, mountain waterfalls or aspen trees, dominate the High Country.
Conversely, if there weren’t a market for these themes, they wouldn’t be so readily available. Most Colorado photographers trying to make a living at their chosen craft need them in their portfolio because they pay the bills. Tourists want them as take home mementos, while decorators use them as part of their clients’ expected mountain retreat furnishings. For its current show, Clint’s has chosen local business owner and photographer Jim Mallouk as its featured artist. Running until the end of October, the display includes predominantly color digital photo prints, with a few black and whites thrown in for good measure.Mallouk, originally from Garden City, N.Y., has spent the last 20-plus years in Breckenridge as owner of Alpine Video and Camera store. For the past 12 years, he has been located just a few doors north of Clint’s.
Mallouk’s experience with photography began in New York at the Germain School of Photography, after which he worked as a commercial photographer.Since living in Colorado, he has spent a good deal of time on hiking trails photographing what appeals to him. But it never occurred to him to sell his work until Komeshian suggested that he show in her “gallery.” This first public exhibition of his work is promising.Much of what Mallouk has photographed has been captured on digital camera, then manipulated on computer, reproduced with an ink jet printer and framed. This hands-on process enables Mallouk to keep the cost of his work to a minimum, and the prices for his photographs reflect their affordability. All are under $200 and vary in size and subject matter.Alas, the outdoor scenery he records is much the same as what is mentioned above: golden aspens, mountain waterfalls, the ubiquitous shots of the Maroon Bells and the arches in Utah. A few of these shots do present a different perspective, and Mallouk’s use of the computer enhances the images enough to make them unique.
The unfettered shots, however, are the ones that best suggest his eye for clarity, attention to detail and tight composition. His close-ups of leaves and flowers, most evident in pictures titled, “Aspen Leaves After Rain Fall,” “East Hampton Gardens” and “Spring Bloom” are colorful, well composed and appealing. “The Dredge,” which is a photo of the restaurant by the same name in Breckenridge, exhibits an interesting perspective, intriguing lighting and a good use of the reflection on the water in which it floats. In all, it presents a complex scene in a very attractive way. Mallouk’s work also can be seen in Breckenridge at Ski Hill Picture Framing, Alpine Camera and Columbine Gallery.Stew Mosberg is a freelance writer working out of Blue River. He is the author of two books about design and is the recipient of a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. He can be reached at email@example.com
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