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Hot Ticket: Lessons through a lens

By LENNIE BENNETT, Times art critic
Published September 15, 2005

Usually the camera is a distancing object, a filter between photographer and subject. For Ric Savid, it is a conduit of connection and intimacy. Savid is a wanderer who has roamed the world, beginning with a stint in the Peace Corps in the Philippines during the 1970s. He taught himself photography, first to record his travels and later to capture the human moments that are both random and universal.

Teenager is at first glance a straight-on portrait of a beautiful young girl. But it's full of contradictions. Wary, knowing eyes stare above a slight smile; stiffened fingers of one hand hold back the gently curling ones of the other hand; and a pose that seems relaxed betrays tension, as if she is trying to disappear behind the chalkboard against which she leans. You have no idea, her body language suggests, and any student of teenagers will recognize it.

The black-and-white medium suits his introspective style, and Savid's perfectionist darkroom technique yields flawless prints with tonalities sometimes more arresting than color. His photographs have appeared in Aperture and Black and White magazines and have been exhibited locally at the Tampa Museum of Art and the Arts Center in St. Petersburg. View his work, including Child Drawing on Sidewalk, also shown here, through Oct. 14 at Crossroads Gallery on the Clearwater campus of St. Petersburg College, 2465 Drew St. Gallery hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday. Free admission. (727) 442-5501.

- LENNIE BENNETT, Times art critic

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