Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Potraits of Many Ladies

My parents are avid and very thorough readers of the New York Times. When I visit them, I always make sure to lay claim to the front page as soon as I rise in the morning, otherwise I know that I will be waiting for quite some time as my dad seemingly memorizes the section. My mom is quite devoted to the arts section, and although she has the opportunity to see many wonderful performances in the Bay Area, she occasionally pines for those that alight in New York. So, as she likes to attend them vicariously if possible, I often get emails from the home front telling me of goings-on.

The latest of these missives alerted me to a free performance by the extraordinarily talented violinist Hilary Hahn. It was titled "Hilary Hahn!!" and closed "Jealously, mom". How could I resist?

I dragged myself up to The Old Town Hall on Sunday (quite an event, as I am reluctant to go to midtown on the weekends) and roped Marissa into accompanying me. Of course, as the performance was free and New Yorkers love to stand in line for hours on end, I had missed the last of the free tickets by a mile. Luckily, we were right around the corner from the International Center for Photography, which is currently exhibiting Richard Avedon's fashion photography. Perhaps just as luckily, Marissa's connections to her former life got us in for free!

I love those moments when, through an image or a performance of some sort, you suddenly understand why a famous artist is admired. It often happens to me with regards to artists whose prolific periods occurred either before I was born or when I was too young to be aware of the arts. This past Sunday, I experienced such a moment with Avedon.

It's hard for me to remember seeing another photographer who brings such movement to still images,

who creates such interesting geometry with ungeometric subjects,

who is so utterly capitivated by all women,
and who can create a world that the beholder yearns to inhabit with just one image.

What an artistic genius, clearly he more than deserved the fame that his work garnered. It's always nice when that happens.

6 comments:

The Townhouselady said...

Just Fantastic. Amazing images.

Gigi said...

Yes, I so agree with you about Avedon! These are absolutely wonderful images.

Terry B said...

As someone utterly captivated by great photography--and by women--I have to tell you, Laura, this is a wonderful post. Avedon was an amazing photographer. Another is Irving Penn, who just turned 92 and is still working, as far as I know. And I share your mother's penchant for seeking out vicarious New York moments. As wonderful as Chicago is, I have various NYC blogs and sites I visit almost daily for my New York fix. Yours is one of them.

wambalus said...

Those are fantastic photographs, any idea where I might get a print?

Laura [What I Like] said...

Townhouse - Isn't he phenomenal? I just yearn to see more of his work.

Gigi - We clearly are on the same wavelength, so wonderful to meet a kindred spirit!

Terry B - You always make me feel so appreciated! I do love Irving Penn, although pathetically I am most familiar with the food photography that he does for Jeffrey Steingarten for his Vogue stories. I'm fairly sure I'm missing out on a whole lot by limiting myself so. I can't believe he's still working!

Robin - Sadly, I have no clue...ICP's website maybe? I'm sure google will give you some pointers. You have got to check out the shot of Lauren Hutton's left boob by the way, it is totally up your alley.

Terry B said...

Penn did his first fashion cover for Vogue in 1943. Apparently he and Avedon often vied for pages, position and subject matter there. But yeah, Penn's food [and still life] stuff is wonderfully breakthrough. You might also know his ethnographic stuff, in which he photographed everything from New Guinea mud men to San Francisco hippies, all inside an anonymous gray canvas studio he carried with him. He did an amazing book from the series, Worlds in a Small Room.

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