The first time I saw Amanda Means’s light bulb photographs was in 2001 at the Ricco Maresca gallery in New York, and I immediately fell in love with them. Most of the images were created without the use of a camera, and I especially liked how Means slyly commented on the nature of photography by placing the bulbs inside her enlarger, shining light through them onto the photographic paper below.
Now showing at the same gallery is her latest group of incandescent globes individually photographed close-up on large-format, color Polaroid film. The subject seems tireless to Means; one can’t help recalling the Smiths’ song “There is a Light That Never Goes Out” when describing her work. Her transformation of ordinary household objects into sublime Minimal art is not only evident in the bulb series, but also in the black and white prints of water glasses that round out the show. Sweaty, chipped and scratched vessels monumentally fill the frame, revealing the beauty in the mundane.