Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Afghan Girl

"Afghan Girl", portrait of Sharbat Gula, on the cover of National Geographic, June 1985

Last weekend, we finally saw the Steve McCurry show at the Joseph Saxton Gallery of Photography in Canton, OH. We saw his memorable portrait, “Afghan Girl”, which has been widely published and has been determined to be National Geographic’s most recognizable cover.

The image is familiar, those intense, haunting, multi-colored eyes. What deepened the impact of seeing this portrait, however, was it’s partner image of the same girl 17 years later, a woman aged beyond her years by an extremely difficult life, never knowing she was the subject of one of the most famous photographic portraits.

Here is a link to the whole story, and her newer portrait, the second time she had ever been photographed in her life:

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Cluster @ PCA

This Sunday is the last day of Cluster, an exhibit curated by Adam Welch at the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts.

I finally checked out the exhibit last weekend. I worked at the PCA for a number of years, and it feels great to go back and see the Center looking so good. This is truly an elegantly curated show with thought-provoking works of art.

David Pohl’s Ganesh created directly on the wall using a Spirograph reminded me of using a Spirograph as a kid with my sister. We used to love those things, but if you try and go too fast with them and press too hard, your pen jumps the grooves and messes it up... I did that a lot. David Pohl’s swirls are perfect though, and the image of the Hindu deity that the swirls come together to form is quite awesome.

Also loved Will Giannotti’s wood canon-like sculpture in the main gallery.

Jason Lee’s synthetic landscape installation is super slick, and Kyle Houser’s stoneware forms with decals of poppies on thickly dripping, milk white glaze, offer contemporary takes on the traditional landscape.

I didn’t mention everything, but it’s all good. If you haven’t seen it yet, go.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The Unguarded Moment @ Joseph Saxton Gallery of Photography

Book cover for Steve McCurry: The Unguarded Moment, published by Phaidon

A few years ago, a photographer friend of mine, Danelle Doty, showed me a beautiful little book called Portraits, a collection of faces from around the world taken by National Geographic photographer Steve McCurry. Since then, I acquired my own copy of the book.

Now, at the Joseph Saxton Gallery of Photography in Canton, Ohio, there is an exhibit of McCurry's work called The Unguarded Moment. (These images are also collected into a book.) I look forward to seeing the exhibit in person at the end of this month!