At the Caixa Photo Prize exhibition at the Caixa Forum in Madrid Emilio Morenatti’s winning entry is a set of portraits of Pakistani women who have deformed faces as the result of acid attacks. Though the images (and the stories that accompany them) are horrifying, their formal portraiture portrays the women with a dignity that their attackers would wish to deny. While most of the work on view from ten photographers depicts extreme poverty or situations of institutional violence, the photos share a moderate to high-gloss aesthetic - even Walter Astrada’s images of post-election violence in Kenya share the same color balance qualities of National Geographic. Only Mikel Aristregi’s photos of life among the alcoholic vagrants of Mongolia’s capital Ulan Bator occasionally present their subjects in a flatter light.
Staff at the exhibition said that the catalog sales for this annual exhibition are normally slow. But this year, with a stoic, acid-etched face staring out from its cover and many more contained within, the catalog has proved to be a surprise hit. While aestheticized images of violence make for a wider audience and more palatable viewing, I was left wondering what gripping but graphic photos didn’t make the cut because they weren’t photographic enough.
Christopher Knight writes in the LA Times about the legendary Guiseppe Panza di Biumo (1923-2010,) “the Milanese businessman who was the first great international collector of postwar American art.”
After having read Calvin Tompkins’s article in the March 29 New Yorker on Julie Mehretu’s recent commission for Goldman Sachs in NYC, I was gratified to see two posts on SFMOMA’s Open Space that responded to several things that occurred to me while reading it that were completely elided in the piece. Interestingly, Anne Walsh’s post began as a comment to the Rebar post, and takes the conversation further while describing her mixed feelings.
LOBBIES, and their varieties Posted on March 29, 2010 by Anne Walsh
David Ross discusses art of the Olympics with Stephen Colbert.
“Unfortunately, the data reveal that artist unemployment is increasing at more rapid rates than for the total workforce, and could have more of an effect over time.” This quote from the NEA’s report reminded me of Joseph del Pesco’s posters, at a time when we are still wondering if we have hit the bottom of the unemployment curve.