Friday, January 4, 2008


she and i went to the corcoran gallery tonight. second attempt after sunday, rainy sunday. we'd only have had an hour on sunday because of the weather and such, and boy am i glad we decided to come back! one hour would not have been enough.

first on the palate: an exhibition on annie liebovitz. most know her for her celebrity portraits, but her career was much more prolific. she had more of a photojournalist tilt in some of her career, photographing sarajevo in the early 90s. she also had several projects involving dancers. i really enjoyed her shots of vegas showgirls in street clothes juxtaposed with them in their costumes for shows. some of the women, gorgeous anyways. some of the women, not so much! by far, the bulk of the prints on display were simple, everyday shots of the people close to her. the happy times spent with her parents and her niece at the beach. the wretchedly heartbreaking times in her partner's final days, fighting a losing battle to leukemia.

the last of the liebovitz shots that we saw were her landscapes of monument valley. they were markedly different in both size, clarity, and composure than anything that ansel adams produced. she noted the influence that adams had on her in that commissioned project, yet i saw very little similarity in the finished product.

two hours down, one hour 'til the gallery closed, we more or less raced through ansel adams prints. his early career and its soft focus shots had a more amateur quality to them. it was only when he got into his f/64 club era that his shots hit their prime, at least in my opinion. sweeping landscapes, microcosmic focus, architecture, trees. all in breathtaking detail as a result of the small aperture. it seems that my point-and-shoot digital style was influenced by adams more than i realize.

i can't wait to get a digital SLR someday and go nuts.


rachel said...

That sounds like a cool exhibit.

Are you sure it was her sister that died of leukemia? I'm thought it was her partner, Susan Sontag, that she photographed while she dealt with leukemia.

Mr. J said...

not knowing a whole lot about her before seeing the exhibit, i got confused about who susan actually was. i bow to your superior knowledge, and will change it now.