WHAT SHOULD I BE DOING INSTEAD OF THIS?
 
 

Selfie Queen Vivian Maier: A Quiet Pursuit of Personal Reflections

0 Comments · Wednesday, October 15, 2014
Vivian Maier is the art world’s current mystery artist du jour.  

A Future in Focus

Cincinnati’s FotoFocus Biennial widens its scope as a top recurring photography event

0 Comments · Wednesday, October 1, 2014
Just by adding the word “Biennial” to its official name for 2014, FotoFocus — which occurs this month in some 50 venues throughout Greater Cincinnati — is aiming to raise its importance and artistic significance.    

Legendary Still Photographer Douglas Kirkland Looks Past the Frames

0 Comments · Wednesday, October 1, 2014
I was able to peruse Kirkland’s latest monograph — Douglas Kirkland: A Life in Pictures — and what struck me, right from the start, was his voice.  

When Photography Was New

0 Comments · Wednesday, September 10, 2014
The buildings in these photographs seem outside of time, existing in a private universe where shadows exist only to point up architectural features.  

Are Billboards Right for Showing Artwork?

0 Comments · Wednesday, August 27, 2014
To some, the very notion of billboards (or outdoor signage in general) being artwork or hosting artful images instead of give-us-your-money advertising is confusing. But it’s getting more common.  

Art For The People

Local art collector Sara Vance Waddell shares her collection of prominent feminist art

0 Comments · Wednesday, August 13, 2014
I go with my gut,” says Sara Vance Waddell about her philosophical approach to collecting art. And it is clear that trusting her instinct has done her well as the marketing and advertising CEO/president of her own media business.  

FotoFocus Has New Ideas, Big Plans for 2014 Event

0 Comments · Wednesday, June 4, 2014
At a luncheon/press conference Thursday in New York, the FotoFocus Biennial will announce details of its 2014 activities in Cincinnati for this year’s Oct. 8-Nov. 1 run.  
by Alexis O'Brien 05.30.2014
Posted In: Visual Art at 11:19 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
396_1renoir

Matters of our Art: Portraits of the Artist

If you’ve been to the Cincinnati Art Museum recently, and specifically since March 22, you’ve probably found yourself lingering among portraits in a corner of the second floor. (Up the grand staircase and in Room 212, the space now designated as the museum’s photography gallery.) And it might’ve been Jean Renoir’s doing. The filmmaker’s honest, sideways smirk that’s good at whispering you in to laugh at life at or with him. For me, he was the one whose 77-year-old face, through the gap of a narrow doorway, led me in to look upon his ruthlessness magnified, given new life by Richard Avedon and brought to light by Brian Sholis, the museum’s new curator of photography. “It wasn’t until the 1970s when museums started taking photography seriously,” Sholis says. “The art world stopped writing it off as so mechanical and lacking real talent, so museums like this one began acquiring a lot of it.” Which explains the 4,000-field, photographical rundown Sholis was sent before moving from New York to Cincinnati to take his curatorial position in 2013. The database was a list of every museum-owned piece of photography, and while studying it, Sholis noticed a pattern: two recognizable names in one row, repeated. An artist by an artist. Portraits of the Artist. You see where this is going. “For people who don’t know much about the history of photography, they’re given another chance to connect here, and I wanted my first exhibition to be as welcoming as possible,” Sholis says. “Here, there’s twice the chance of hitting upon someone a visitor could recognize.” Out of four-dozen artists-by-artists photographs, Sholis narrowed his exhibition selection to 14 of them, presenting Frida Kahlo by Bernard Silberstein, Picasso (with his son Claude) by Robert Capa and Miles Davis by Lee Friedlander, among others. The dancer in me was especially drawn to modern mover Merce Cunningham by Barbara Morgan, who took Cunningham’s photo like he crafted his dances — with good faith in chance. She shot the double-exposure by retrogressing her film after an initial shot and snapping Cunningham again in another position, not realizing the two bodies as one image until they’d been developed, much like Cunningham frequently rolled a die to dictate his movements and their sequences. And while, like the individual pieces themselves, the idea of the exhibition is stimulating and timely (I don’t need to tell anyone about the portrait-in-the-form-of-iPhone-selfie phenomenon), the placement of the pieces is also noteworthy, and very thoroughly Sholis-thought-through. The Mexican artist portraits are grouped together alongside a couple of painted face performers; partners in work and life, John Cage and Merce Cunningham share an intimate space on a portion of the gallery’s west wall; and Miles Davis is situated alone and dominantly, glaring over onlookers while avoiding awkward eye contact with Renoir (after being moved when Sholis saw the staring contest). “These are more than just casual snapshots even though they look that way,” Sholis says. “These are kind of dialogues between the artists themselves and their creators, the photographers.” And, of course, you.
 
 

Ethereal Experimentation

Upcoming Weston exhibits feature two bold approaches to photography

0 Comments · Wednesday, March 26, 2014
While Anita Douthat and Charles Woodman both create photography-based or light-based art, their approaches are dramatically different. So, too, is their work — except for a common denominator.   

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