In this, her debut book, Harvard graduate Rachel Cohen weaves a literary tapestry encompassing the lives of 30 of America’s great writers, photographers and artists, into 36 distinct chapters. Part biography, part flight-of-fancy speculation, Cohen’s final product, complete with references, source material, and footnotes was 10 years in the making.
The course of Curtis’ campaign to document the lives and life style of the Native American peoples is related by Egan with considerable detail and page-turning élan. There were plenty of incidents of physical ordeal and, in some cases, real danger. An Apache medicine man who divulged secrets of his tribe’s religious practices died under suspicious circumstances shortly after Curtis left the reservation. That fate might well have befallen Curtis…
The pair make their way through a crowded New York park. At the woman’s neck, a whistle such as a lifeguard might use dangles like a pendant from a choker. Why is she wearing such a thing? Is it a form of DIY fashion, or an early version of a rape whistle, emblem of an increasing fear of street crime, as well as the greater sense of vulnerability felt by women in public? It’s impossible to know – Winogrand snapped the picture quickly, and the tilted framing of the subjects betrays its spontaneity.
The photographs in the retrospective are animated by the yearning for a sense of place, of belonging and by regret at seeing that place forever slipping out of reach, as a consequence of environmental heedlessness and of the inevitable passage of time.
Badlands was filmed on location in southern Colorado, and recently I finally made it to Pueblo, Colorado’s Rosemount House Museum, aka the interior of the “rich man’s house.” Fans of Malick’s offbeat, lyrical American aesthetic should find plenty to like there.
In dramatic contrast to the wide-open, sleekly minimalist aesthetic of most modern art galleries, Camera Obscura’s displays rambled through a series of rooms whose uniform coat of white paint barely obscured their past as a Victorian home. It was in this casual, intimate, even cluttered environment that I encountered many of the luminaries of modern photography, such as Edward Weston, Eliot Porter, Imogen Cunningham…
There are other questions to ask as well. Can this be anything other than two white men reducing the artifacts of a nonwhite culture to the status of props in their cerebral games? In my years as a graduate student, the academic word on artistic primitivism seemed unambiguous. It was straight-up cultural imperialism…
Adams recorded the ever-expanding suburban sprawl of the 1960s and 1970s, and his haunting, classically composed photos of tract houses and shopping centers engulfing what had been farmland helped define what was dubbed the New Topographics movement after the landmark 1975 exhibition.
Muybridge had married his young assistant, in 1871. After a while, he began to suspect that she was having an affair with theater critic, Harry Larkyns. In 1874, Muybridge found a photograph of the couple’s baby son, on the back of which, his wife had scralled “Little Harry.” Enraged, he tracked down Larkyns and shot him dead. The jury deemed Muybridge’s vengeance justifiable and he was acquitted. The couple’s young son was deposited in an orphanage.
Contemporary sculptor and print maker Kiki Smith has been photographing and exhibiting her work for three decades. Smith grew up in a family where “life wasn’t worth living if you didn’t make art.” As the daughter of minimalist sculptor Tony Smith, Kiki assisted her father with his large-scale sculptures by folding and gluing together geometric cardboard models.
Duane Michals expressed it well when he said, “Photography deals exquisitely with appearances, but nothing is what it appears to be.” An inner life is uncovered in the nature of x-ray photography and in the nature of the subjects.
Tramps who were refused food at the home of John Ovenbeck in the town of Friendship, Winnebego County, entered the barn at night and cut the throats of 3 cows, which bled to death. A card attached to the horns of one bore the following message: ‘Remember us when we call for something to eat again’
The captured fighter claimed to be a student who had gotten stuck in Falluja. A Marine responded, “Yeah, right, University of Jihad, motherfucker.”
A photographic essay: Art Deco in Havana, Cuba.
Between 1945 and 1962, the United States conducted over 300 atmospheric nuclear tests above the ground, in the ocean or in outer space.