Jean-Luc Mylayne at the Museo Reina Sophia

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November 19 - April 4, 2011. Palacio de Velázquez. Parque del Buen Retiro

Currently on exhibit in the Palacio De Velazquez, a recently-renewed exhibition hall from the 1880's, are the elusive and magical images of Jean-Luc Mylayne. Mylayne's instinctual desire to photograph something as simple as a bird is unusually deep. For over thirty years he has been going to great lengths to communicate that even the most common robin or bluebird exists in a different, better world than we do.

Utilizing a process that involves hand-made lenses and prolonged periods of waiting and watching, Mylanye's images are visually baffling at first glance. The image plane of the photographs gently shares focal points between two or more subjects and leaves the peripheral spaces out of focus. The result, as the photographer has intended, is an image that closely imitates the way that we experience visual space with both eyes open. You are brought into the personal space of a the bird; A space that is not ordinarily entered. What's different from these images and an ordinary nature photograph of a bird is that you are not look through a telescope, you are actually there. Most of the questions that lingered in my mind about the pictures were related to the artist's process and his personality. What kind of a person can gain the trust of a bird?

Leaving the exhibit, you walk out into Madrid's tree-filled Parque Retiro in a new state of mind. Instead of walking down the shady paths like normal, for a while, you are privileged to experience the beauty of everyday as Mylayne might.

Name index: 
James Rajotte