Polaroid Collection Manhattan show and bankruptcy sale

“When the rise of digital photography and a Ponzi scheme at its parent company killed the Polaroid star, a north Minnesota bankruptcy court hearing the case ordered the Polaroid Corporation’s extensive and venerable photography collection to go under the hammer, with all proceeds used to pay creditors. Sotheby’s is thrilled to the tips of its toesies to put some of the collection on sale on Monday and Tuesday. Meanwhile, they’ve selected 1,200 of the most notable photographs to go on display in their Manhattan offices. Admission is free. The collection stars some of the greatest luminaries of American photography: Ansel Adams, Walker Evans, Dorothea Lange, William Wegman and his Weimaraners, even Robert Mapplethorpe and Andy Warhol.”
via The History Blog. Check out the catalog.

Storytelling

I recently discovered Jonathan Harris’ age 30 project.

Jonathan is an accomplished artist, known for seminal web projects like We Feel Fine which panned the Internet for fragmentary ideas and words to sluice out meaning and emotion.

The posts are simple rough gems of photography and epiphanies, often abetted by travel, that reveal the stories and people behind them.

I enjoyed these two stories: Mesa Verde, CO, Jan. 20, 2010 and Los Angeles, Jan. 22, 2010.

Amazing what you can still do with just words and pictures.

the camera eye

tina modotti image of flag carrying girlHere’s the story of how I got hooked on photography.

My first taste of the alchemy is when I get the prints back from a roll I took on a Pentax K1000, c. 1990. The Pentax (which I still have) is a heavy, solid machine. I save up from a summer job to be able to afford it. It’s mechanical, operated entirely manually. I have to study to learn how to configure film speed and f-stop.

What I see in the first set of prints: depth of field, so clearly better than anything shot in years of disposables, Polaroids and point and shoots. I took a picture of a bicycle, foregrounded. The out-of-focus trees and grass behind it helping create a story.

Material objects transmuted into an artifact (artifice?) that reaches some part of me that responds to art.

Other photos – a very few – I take that summer and fall with the K1000, make me feel the same way.

I’m writing about this because I happened to read a review of a documentary about William Eggleston in the local paper today.

It reminded me of some of the photographers whose work I love. Each of them reflects in their art a personal vision, of the world as inamorata.

Tina Modotti

Robert Capa

Cartier-Bresson

William Eggleston

Olivo Barbieri