Friday, December 5, 2008

Feature Photography

OK, that may well be the lamest name for what is really an excellent show at the National Portrait Gallery. A well rounded group of portrait photographers was chosen for this exhibition including Katy Grannan, Jocelyn Lee, Ryan McGinley, Steve Pyke, Martin Schoeller, and Alec Soth. At least one name in that group should get you excited.
The online version of the show contains a varied slice of the show as well as artist statements and a small blip about each of the photos. The photos were taken on assignment by a publication, hence the title of the exhibition. Some you may recognize and some were never published. Why you might ask are these only taken from editorial assignments? The exhibition explains that while they are known for their fine art work, the artists "have also pursued a variety of editorial projects, taking advantage of the opportunities and grappling with the parameters that these assignments introduce. Their work builds upon a longstanding tradition of photographic portraiture for the popular press and highlights creative possibilities for twenty-first-century portrayal."
You can definitely see the different styles of the photographers as well as who gets photographed by whom. I found it interesting that Schoeller cites the Bechers as influences in his own style.
I could go on, but I suggest you take the time to visit the online exhibition for your self.

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