WHAT SHOULD I BE DOING INSTEAD OF THIS?
 
 

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 112 days ago
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.   

Photographer Amy Hildebrand Finds Her Vision Through the Lens

0 Comments · Wednesday, September 25, 2013
There’s a secret behind Amy Hildebrand’s photography — a secret that I was never able to guess when we first met. As she peered through her camera lens and snapped images of my boyfriend and me with ease, she asked us to share our memories. Eventually, she shared some of her own and her secret came out. Hildebrand was born blind due to albinism...  

Capturing Queen City

Local photography site Capture Cincinnati focuses on Cincinnati's best features

0 Comments · Wednesday, May 15, 2013
This winter I upgraded my point-and-shoot camera to a mirrorless Sony NEX. Finally having a nice camera to use, I googled “photography contest” and came across a curiously titled site called Capture Cincinnati.  

Organically Grown

The Hilton Brothers' photography focuses on fresh and natural collaborations

0 Comments · Wednesday, May 8, 2013
The Hilton Brothers — photographers Christopher Makos and Paul Solberg — have arrived in Cincinnati with food on their minds. They don’t specify that it needs to be organic, but it might as well be. The term pops up repeatedly as the New Yorkers discuss their natural, open-ended approach to life, art and collaboration.   

What Needs to Be Done Before FotoFocus '14

0 Comments · Wednesday, November 14, 2012
I hope the inaugural FotoFocus, which has formally concluded although related exhibits still are up around town, was successful by the standards of its organizers, and that they are eager to plan for the next one in 2014.  

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