Behind the Scenes at the DAM

Chuck Forsman Gives Preview of Seen in Passing

On the morning of November 14, the Denver Art Museum offered media a sneak peek of Seen in Passing: Photographs by Chuck Forsman. A painter and photographer from Boulder, Forsman considers himself a “professional voyeur," someone whose job is to observe his environment with a keen eye.

Seen in Passing is comprised of two distinct, yet complementary bodies of work as well as three of Forsman’s paintings. Western Rider surveys contemporary American landscapes from an ordinary and common vantage pointthe front seat of a car. Walking Magpie is a series made across the country as the artist walked his dog Magpie. Curator of photography Eric Paddock opened the tour by discussing how Forsman’s work challenges visitors to take another look at their community.

Forsman discussed individual works, as well as the concept as a wholetaking a look at familiar places with a fresh eye through a photographer’s lens. He shared stories, ideas, and techniques. While discussing Walking Magpie, he gave insight into the creative process of “collaboration” between a human and an animal, revealing that he and Magpie manipulated each other. Sometimes the artist would direct the dog to a specific interesting item, and often times the dog would take his owner to distant places Forsman wouldn’t find himself. He also made a joke that he is “one of a very few owners who get to publish a book dedicated to photographs of his pet.”

Seen in Passing: Photographs by Chuck Forsman opened November 17 and is on view through May 25, 2014 in the Anthony and Delisa Mayer Photography Gallery on level seven of the North Building. After seeing the show, we bet you will discover something new and extraordinary in your neighborhood. Two books corresponding to the exhibition, Western Rider: Views from a Car Window and Walking Magpie: On and Off the Leash are available in The Shop at the Denver Art Museum.

Lesya Klymenko Liu is the digital communications intern in the communications department at the Denver Art Museum. Lesya has been at the DAM since 2013 and her favorite exhibition that has been on view here is El Anatsui: When I Last Wrote to you about Africa.