Aaron Hobson revisited, William Eggleston, and Catherine Opie
I wrote about Aaron Hobson’s wonderful self portraits titled, Cinemascapes, a month or so ago, so I was delighted when Aaron told me he had an exhibition in a new gallery, the Collette Blanchard Gallery, on the Lower East side of NYC. Who knew that the lower east side had become so hip! Ms. Blanchard has a wonderful exhibition space and Aaron’s pieces are so much more exciting in person that on a computer screen.
I was really looking forward to the Eggleston Show at the Whitney, and thought it was exciting to see the images off the pages of his books and on to the walls. But walking around, all I could think about was how much he has influenced the next several generations of photographers. I felt like I was looking at images I had seen in a variety of incarnations, and part of that made me a little sad that there are so few unique voices. The images were a wonderful size–big enough, but not too big.
I was a bit on visual overland as I trekked even further north to the Guggenheim to see Catherine Opie’s retrospective, and her show turned out to be one of those wonderful surprises made even better by not expecting it. I remember the first time I saw her work–she had huge show of Los Angeles Freeways at MOCA in Los Angeles. Because I look at freeways all the time, I wasn’t bowled over. Then I saw some of her portrait work and it was so radically different, that I didn’t know how to place her. But fortunately the Guggenheim did it for me. The show is laid out into 5 annexed galleries, each containing a different body of work. I came away with an incredible admiration of her thought process and ultimately her images. Some of her work is political and thought provoking, but others are meditative and exquisite. The gallery of the beautiful big images of surfers (the best were surfers in the fog) on one side, and bleached out ice houses on the other was really magnificent, as were her large format polaroids (especially Ron Athey/Suicide Bed).
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