Saturday, January 20, 2007

Back to the Brooklyn Museum

On this frigid cold day, I returned to the Brooklyn Museum to see the Annie Leibovitz exhibit, titled "A Photographer's Life, 1990-2005." Tomorrow's the last day of the exhibit. Museum opens at 11 on Saturdays, I got there at 11:30, and it was already a zoo. Note to self: Going to museums on weekends always sucks. At least during special exhibits.

I don't think you could be a music lover in the last 20 years and not know Leibovitz's work. Although she had many subjects, she became known as a "rock" photographer, for the iconic shots she captured as chief photographer for Rolling Stone in the '70s. Later she worked for Vanity Fair and Vogue. Who could forget a naked, pregnant (and beautiful, I might add) Demi Moore on the cover of Vanity Fair in 1991, which caused a bit of hoopla? And then they did it again, when Demi posed nude for the mag a year later, with a "suit" painted on... Annie snapped that one too.

What's apparent looking at more than 200 photos in this collection is the apparent relationship Annie has with her subjects. Oh, and the exhibit really is "A Photographer's Life," because there are plenty of pictures of the artist's children, parents, and her longtime partner Susan. She chronicled her father's illness and death, and Susan's subsequent illness and death.

All of this would have been much more moving to me, had I been able to breathe... the exhibit was packed wall-to-wall with people, and they all just stood in front of the photos like cows in a pasture, not looking and moving along, so other people could maybe fuckin' get a look! (I was in Brooklyn, the ol' Brooklynite in me emerged there for a second...) Sigh. I love and hate New York at the same time. Everything's a battle... But then we have these wonderful cultural things to take in. This exhibit began in New York; now it'll make the rounds.

There's a book to accompany the exhibit, which bears the same title.

This is one of my favorite photos of hers, but this isn't in the exhibit:


This one is, though:

A Leibovitz Gwyneth

I was looking for a photo I saw today on the web, but had no luck. It was the Cash's at home on their porch: Johnny, his grandson, Rosanne, and June Carter. Excellent shot. I got to see the photo of the White Stripes that I love too:

A Leibovitz White Stripes

I wish I had been able to really look at the photos. Ah well. I did go back and look at the Ron Mueck stuff again, just because it's so incredible. When Alex and I went, it was already dark outside the museum, and the inside of the museum seemed dark too. I remembered thinking that the Mueck exhibit should have been lit better. But upon returning to it today, it was a MUCH better experience. I had forgotten that the museum has a lot of skylights... now I see that natural light really makes a difference. It was absolutely frigid today, but the sky was a bright blue and it was very sunny. The Mueck sculptures looked even more incredible and lifelike than before. I really urge anyone and everyone to see his work up close if you can.

1 comment:

truly.yours said...

Annie Liebovitz is a marvel. I particularly love the shot of Gwynneth Paltrow and mom, Blythe Danner. For years I loved Blythe Danner at a distance and now I find that her daughter strikes the same chord. Woe is me; to suffer the unrequited, impossible, long distance love of two strangers who stare at me from the frame of Annie Liebovitz's art. Alas.