Posts Tagged ‘fine art photography’
Rineke Dijkstra: Decades of the Dutch Photographer’s Striking Portraits
by Elizabeth Inglese
This week the Guggenheim Museum unveiled its mid-career retrospective of the work of Dutch photographer Rineke Dijkstra. Being a longtime fan of Dijkstra’s photography, I immediately made my way to the museum to check out the exhibition, which commands four floors and showcases photographs from the past 20 years as well as installations of video work.
Dijkstra’s work is at once arresting and inviting. The large-scale color prints from Beach Portraits, which were photographed over a decade from 1992-2002, feature adolescents positioned squarely in front of the camera on an empty stretch of sand, the horizon line behind them. The soft focus of the scenery trains the viewers’ attention on the details of the subject, young beach-goers in their swimwear. Their vulnerability and bravery as they pose engage the viewer in an intimate relationship.
The inspiration for Beach Portraits came during a lengthy rehabilitation Dijkstra underwent following a broken hip. Still wet from the pool in which she exercised, Dijkstra photographed herself and found her exhaustion had enabled her capture a rawness difficult to access.
She sought to recreate this candidness by photographing subjects in states of exertion: bullfighters with blood spattered across their faces and mothers following the birth of their babies. These states, in which the barrier of self-presentation dissolves, allow Dijkstra and the viewer glimpses of authenticity.
Dijkstra’s video installations utilize movement and dialogue to explore her interest in the empathetic relationship between viewer and subject. In one collection, young club-goers dance alone against a white backdrop, their timidity and their confidence both on display. In another, school children discuss their reactions to an abstract Picasso, revealing much of their own preoccupations and concerns.
While physically and emotionally exposed, Dijkstra’s subjects confront their viewers with directness. Their frankness invites us to gaze upon them, but in their bare humanity we see reflections of ourselves.
Rineke Dijkstra: A Retropective is on display at the Guggenheim Museum until October 8, 2012.
Dorothea Lange, “Human Erosion in California” and “General Strike/Street Meeting, San Francisco”
(via J. Paul Getty Museum)
In a Los Angeles Times Op-Ed published this past Sunday, Jaime O’Neill discusses the lack of iconography present to represent the current economic crisis. “The pain and suffering has only been superficially covered by the news media,” says O’Neill, “but it has surely not been addressed by our artists.” O’Neill reminds us that during the Great Depression, artists from all fields captured the pain and struggle of the nation within their various works: Steinbeck with his words, Guthrie with his tunes, and photographer Dorothea Lange with her series of painfully striking images. Future generations also sought to, as O’Neill says, “vivify” the experiences of Americans in hard times, including Bob Dylan singing “The Times They Are A-Changin’ ” to Vietnam War protestors. And yet, the writer points out, there have been no bold works along these lines by the artists of our time. Even Dylan, O’Neill points out, now keeps his opinions to himself. And actually, it’s been the comedians who have been most outspoken about the issues. At the end of the piece, O’Neill says something that really resonates with me:
“As much as anything, the arts define the times, sketching a portrait of a moment in the life of the nation and the world, marking a period in ways it comes to be viewed by people who live through it and by people who come after. But the tale of our times is mostly being told by our unwillingness to tell it.”
What do you guys think about this, particularly as it relates to the photographers of our time? Certainly we are offered powerful glimpses at war and famine abroad by brave photojournalists every day. But what about photos documenting or commenting on the American experience?
Read Jaime O’Neill’s full article here.
Acclaimed fine art photographer, Bobbie Goodrich, who was profiled in the Winter ‘09 issue of DP, is accepting registrants now for her 2010 photography workshop: Inspire, Capture and Create in scenic Sedona, Arizona. More information below…
BOBBIE GOODRICH: INSPIRE CAPTURE and CREATE
Fine Art Photography Workshop
Sedona, AZ May 17-21,2010
Sponsored by Sedona Arts Center
Spend ﬁve glorious days photographing the scenic beauty of
Sedona’s red rock country.
Incredible landscape and vistas as well as a visit to “Out of
Africa” wildlife park to capture images of lions, white tiger,
zebras, girafee and other members of Africa’s wild kingdom.
Spending a day at Bryson ranch experiencing the spirit and
energy of a large herd of mustangs we complete our location
shoots. The last 2 1/2 days we work from our images in a fully
equipped state of the art digital lab, learning innovative
techniques for creating stunning ﬁne artistry from initial capture.
Our lab is equipped witha Mac desktop computer for each student &
loaded with Photoshop and Nik software ﬁlters. Working from our images, Bobbie will
demonstrate and share her approach to evaluating, enhancing and
reconstructing an image that will challenge the viewer’s imagination
and convey the beauty and drama within the frame.
This is a workshop designed to explore and expand your creativity and visual
skills—an opportunity to learn from a true artist to bring your work
to the next level. Bobbie’s expertise in photoshop and NIK software has
gained her international recognition. She is a member of the NIK
You can view her stunning imagery at www.bobbiegoodrich.com
COST of workshop : $1,050.00
REGISTRATION: www.SedonaArtsCenter.com, 888-954-4443 or 928-282-3809
Recommended lodging: Sedona Real Inn, 877-299-6016 or 928-282-1414
Image above by Bobbie Goodrich, taken in Sedona workshop November 16 ’09