Saturday, 24 November 2012

Photography In New York

In New York we visited both the Met and The Moma. I really enjoyed looking at the photography on show in both. There was lots of interesting images and concepts on show. I will talk here about two of my favourite sets of photos I saw whilst there.

'Hollywood Series' by Phillip-Lorca diCorcia

In the Moma the first set of photographs which I was drawn to was Philip-Lorca diCorcia 'Hollywood' series (also known as The Hustlers). These photographs were taken in an area of Santa Monica Boulevard, Hollywood, an area which was frequented by male prostitutes and drug addicts.
He photographed men who arrived in Hollywood to follow their dreams but instead became prostitutes to fund their living. The sitter's name, place of birth and the amount paid form each title, the amount they were paid to sit for the photograph is the amount they would have usually charged for sexual favours. I found this story fascinating, especially the way the photographer had captured the contrast between of the aesthetic beauty of the twilight lit images and the grim reality of the subject matter.

My Pie Town By Debbie Grossman

In the met I was really intrigued by the set of photographs in the area whch featured photo manipulation before and after photoshop was created titled 'My Pie Town'. These images were originally photographed by Russell Lee for the United States Farm Security Administration in 1940. For this exhibition they had been reworked by Debbie Grossman on photoshop to create a parallel world almost, a town inhabited only by women. I have always been intrigued by imagery from the 1940s, however always feel slightly disconnected when the images I see of couples/families in that era are all straight couples (because I am gay). I always wonder what it would be like for me to be alive in that time, something which is hard to imagine when the images I see of that time are far removed from my reality. Although these images are just fantasy, it was interesting to see.

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