Monday, November 29, 2010
Artist: Eugene Atget
Photo: Magasin, avenue des Gobelins
Medium: Gelatin silver print, 8 1/4 x 6 1/2"
Eugene Atget was born in Bordeaux, France in 1856 and died in 1927. As an orphan after his parents died in 1861, Atget was raised by his uncle. As a young boy, he went out to sea as a cabin boy. When older, Atget tried to do theater, but was usually the villain in the plays he was casted to. After some time in shows, Atget turned to photography. He took photographs of throughout the city of Paris.
I like thispicture because, when I first looked at it, the main focus is the manikins (or maybe they are just creepy looking people) and the clothes that are being advertised in the shops windows. But the more I look at it, there is the reflection of others stuff. There is some tree and a building that’s across the street. It is cool how he took a picture of the store, but used the windows as a mirror to get more in the picture.
Colored Maids with Child, Marion Post Wolcott, Black and White photo, 1940
Marion Post was born in New Jersey in 1910 to a “well-to-do” family. Her parents divorced in 1923. She was close with her mom who introduced her to art. When Marion was older she was part of a group called FSA (Farm Security Administration) who sent her out during the Great Depression. It really opened her eyes to what kind of economic and racial fractures there were during that time. She also went to Austria during Hitler’s rein and really experienced what Nazism was like and how harsh it was in Europe.
At first I didn’t understand why this photograph was so significant besides the lighting and contrast are really good but after I researched Marion Post I think I started to understand why this is such an important photo. The conclusion I was getting was because she was a somewhat sheltered girl when she was younger and then experiencing all of these things during the Depression and Holocaust it made her truly dislike all forms of racial intolerance. This photo helps point out the racial intolerance Americans had during those times.
By: Barbara Morgan
Barbara Morgan is an American photographer who was originally a painter and hadn’t realized the extent of photography until she met Edward Weston, when she began experimenting with and other types of photography. She has a reputation as being an expressionist and a modernist. At the beginning of other photographer career, she met dancer Martha Graham and was inspired by her, driving her to compile her work “Letter to the World”.
This image captures the dancer’s movement and emotion to create a beautiful photo. The lack of texture in the background makes the dancer’s dress stand out with the wrinkles highlight the movement that is taking place, making it obvious that the subject is in deed moving when the photo is taken rather than just posing in one spot for the photographer.
“All photographs are accurate. None of them is the truth.” –Richard Avedon
This is a portrait by Richard Avedon titled “Ezra Pound, Poet, Rutherford, New Jersey”, taken on June 30, 1958. Avedon was a brilliant American photographer, famous for his ability to use minimalism in his portraits while appearing very intimate with his subjects and their flaws to capture their “essence”. Avedon worked with Vogue, but combined commercial/fashion photography with fine arts, creating stunning photos that could sell while still being artistically appealing.
I find this photo interesting because the subject, Ezra, is so striking, even without any detail of the surroundings. Ezra seems to just have his eyes closed, but with his wrinkles, it is hard to determine whether he is experiencing pain, disgust, shame, or any other intense emotion. I find myself wanting to know more about the subject and am not sure why such a simple photo engages me so deeply.
Diane Arbus started out as a photographer for publicity in her father’s department store, and moved into the world of photography after World War II. She moved away from commercial photography and delved into more artistic methods. She specialized in the realm of severe emotions; she wished to convey severe mood shifts in her works, which could be related to her mental stability.
I have seen this piece numerous times in the past and it has always been one of my favorites. This piece is menacing and bold. A boy holding a grenade, with the expression as if he is about to murder all that pass through the park, resides in the middle of the picture plane. This confronts the viewer and imposes on them. I feel like this boy is looking at me, and might channel his violence my way.
Monday, November 22, 2010
Julia Margaret Cameron
Julia Margaret Cameron photographed many of her family and friends. She had her chance to photograph Thomas Carlyle, but she had to wait patiently for him, he was busy writing On Heros, Hero-Worship and the Heroic in History. He only sat once for her, and she was only able to shoot two photographs, a frontal view and a side view. Attached is the frontal view. She also photographed many other famous people such as Charles Darwin, Sir John Frederick William Herschel, and George Frederick Watts.
I thought Julia Margaret Cameron did a fantastic job getting the photograph of Thomas Carlyle, especially since she was only allowed a brief time with him plus only getting two shots of him. The part that intrigued me even more was that both photographs turned out! They may be a little grainy and have some fingerprints on them, but for the most part they developed perfect! Reminds me of the pinhole prints, they all had a unique appearance about them, but for the most part turned out.
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
Dorothea Lange "Migrant Cotton Picker" Black & White, 1940
This photograph was taken during the Great Dust Bowl. "The impact of the picture was based on the image showing the strength and need of migrant workers." She photographed the poor and the starved and the hardworking American. She was the one who brought these issues to the country's attention. She photographed most of the migrant workers in the Midwest during this time period, trying to shed light on their true
This photograph made me feel empathy toward this man. His hands are extremely worn, and it reminds me of my father's hands. He was born two years after this photograph was taken, so it makes me wonder if that's how his father's hands looked and if this was the kind of life they lived. I liked that his hand is halfway blocking the view of his face. It makes me wonder if he was trying to hide from the camera when this photo was taken. I also like the way it's composed. It really only shows his hand and face. The rest is sort of cut off, and it makes me wonder what else could have been going on there.
Title: New York State Farm Interior
Artist: Walker Evans
Medium: Gelatin silver print
Year produced: 1931
Evans was one of many photographers who worked for the FDA documenting life
during the Great Depression. His work focused on the time he spent living
with and capturing the lives of three different farming families in the
Midwest. This was significant, as it showed a much more true face to the
reality of the United States at that time.
I like how Evans captures a glimpse into the lives of farmers during the
Great Depression, without involving people in the photo in the photo. It’s a
rather disjointed and messy photo, with the pile of what looks like clothes
in the right and the mess of objects on the cabinet, though I suppose this
goes well with how chaotic and disjointed things were during the Great
Depression for most people. I also really like the repetition of squares and
rectangles in this photo, such as the chair, the hallway, and the small
image that is hanging on the wall. I don’t think this photo would work as
well if it didn’t have that consistent repetition of shape.
*Steel Mill Workers' Houses*
Gelatin Silver Print
Walker Evans, school dropout, photographed much of the great depression in his prime. He was hired by Time and Fortune magazines to supply photographic images for articles. He didn't develop most of his prints; however, he would review them. He is well known for mass producing images from the Great Depression, allowing a supply to the mass populace. He is an
important figure because he contributed to the mass production of art. Many of his works reside in museums today, such as The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
When I see this image, I get the sense that the industrial complex is beginning to overwhelm residential. I know this photo was taken near the end of the Great Depression, but the absence of human beings and vehicles make this image ominous. Is everyone at work? Is the economic crisis still being felt here? I think it is an interesting perspective, because the photograph is taken on a very high point, but the industrial buildings still appear higher. I feel like industry is taking over, and maybe it is the savior for this community.
Monday, November 8, 2010
Brooklyn Family, Diane Arbus, Black and White, 1966
Diane Arbus married when she was eighteen. She worked as a fashion photographer with her husband for a while. Then, when they split in 1959 she traveled around taking photographs of “freaks” because she thought they were exciting and interesting. One main reason she was drawn to them was because she lived “typically and sheltered from adversity” when she was younger so her photographs were something to help keep her life away from that.
At first when I saw the Brooklyn Family picture I didn’t think it was that exciting of a picture and I couldn’t understand why it was so famous. However, once I researched Arbus and this picture it started to make sense. They are a lower middle class family with a son who is mentally retarded. What makes this picture so interesting is that they try to hide their quirks and pretend that they are in fact what society would consider as “normal.”
Photographer: Hippolyte Bayard
Title: Self Portrait as a Drowned Man
Medium: Black and White
In France Hippolyte Bayard was born on January 20 1807 and died May 14 1887. He was one of the earliest photographer. He took thirty of his picture and put them on display and is thought to be the first photographer to put miltiple of his pictures on display.
Hoppolyte Bayard’s photograph, “Self-Portrait as a Drowned Ma”, looks a little creepy. At first it looks like he is just leaning up against the wall asleep, but the more you look at it, the more it looks like he isn’t alive. Hoppolyte Bayard looks like that he was placed in that position after he ‘drowned’ instead of floating on the water, which makes it not a creepy as it could be. Personally, I do not want to look at this picture a long time,
Coburn is a key figure in the development of American pictorialism because he took photos that had elevated viewpoints. He started out very young. He was given a kodak camera from an uncle in his early teens and his talent grew quickly. His cousin was already known for his photography and he had taken a few of Coburn’s prints for an exhibition in London and that’s how his career got started.
To be one of the first to take a photo from a different prospective is definitely a highlight. It would start a whole new realm of ideas and perspectives for what is right and wrong to do in a photo. It questions people’s expectations for specific interpretations. (like the rule of thirds for example… does it make a photo inadequate to have it centered?) What’s interesting about this piece is that its lines bring your eyes to look at the whole picture. The circle in the middle of the paths is intriguing, but yet the spokes of the wheels/ or paths draw me to look at the outskirts of the photo. The shadow makes me think about what it might be a shadow of, then it is interesting to see the comparison of it vs the small trees in the park. Compositionally there is a lot going on in the photo, yet it is so simple.
Walker Evans was a North American Photographer living from 1903 to 1975. His goal in photography was to make the ordinary sights interesting or beautiful in a photo. He made common places look significant. His work has been show in the Metropolitan Museum in New York previously. In the 1930s-40’s his work was mainly of farm families, of those his most famous are 8X10 and of a woman named Allie Mae Burroughs. He showed the known lifestyle in his photos.
I find Walker Evens work very interesting. His perspective lets you really know how life was like when the photos were taken. I also like the look of all the rolling tires in this picture the “Garage.” His family photos tend to be sad though, which makes it seems times were bad. His photos give off a feeling which makes me drawn in.
Lewis Hine often showed the impact of American Industry on it's workforce. He is most commonly known for his photography showing American poverty through children in factories or men and women constructing or working around large machines. Some of his more powerful photos were taken in industrial areas of children lining up for food, or with hardened expressions showing their frustration or damaged lifestyle created by America's thirst for Industry and it's job hungry citizens. This made Lewis Hine unique to photography, although socially controversial photos weren't undiscovered, his approach through industry and children were bold and one of a kind.
Powerhouse mechanic was a powerful photograph. It showed the intense labor the common man must go through to make an honest living, and helps unveil how small we are compared to the things we depend on. It could also be interpreted as a distinction between the lower and upper class. The lower class is often shown in Hine's photography as hard working from assembly line kids to the middle aged man suspended over hundreds of feet hanging on nothing but a cable. I believe he could have been trying to send a message to the upper class or government about proper wage distribution or labor