Saturday, December 27, 2008

Thought on Opie

Untitled (Pearls)

One of the things I did think when seeing the Opie show, epically the mentioned Polaroids, was should children be seeing this? I didn't see any signs anywhere saying anything about the graphic nature of the images. Then it occurred to me that maybe there didn't need to be signs.

In looking up some stuff for the previous post I came across this, an article on how there was no X rating for this show.

I don't really think there should be. While I do think some people got 'more then they paid for' in then they didn't know what they were going to see when then went to the Gugg, I don't think the above mentioned article holds much water either. Yes, some will argue that some of the images are not far from porn, but I still think they are valid and do deserve to hang in the Gugg, a federally funded privet museum on the upper East Side.

And I think, and Shana may or may not agree with me, that the above images was the most sexual image of the Polaroids.

What do you guys thing?

Catherine Opie at the Guggenheim

Shana and I went to see 'Catherine Opie: American Photographer' at the Guggenheim this past weekend. It was really amazing, not only the work but to see someone who is an out and proud 'queer woman' as she puts it, have a major show there. This above images is of her son Oliver. It is from a series about home life and the life of her town and how the media is part of all that.

The work span many of here series from the very famous images of her with Pervert written on her chest to her Ice Houses and Surfers series. There two series, both 14 images were show across a hall-like room from one another. It was a great way to view them, and according to the audio tour, how she always imagined they should be viewed.

However, I think some of the most powerful pieces in the show were the larger-then-life Polaroids. They were images of a performance artist with AIDS named Ron Athey. There was a lot of body modifications in the images including tattoos and different kind of needles. They were very moving and almost intimidating because of their size and confrontation. These images were not something one could casually glance at. They needed to be seen but cause they were 'yelling' and they needed time to be contemplated.

This is Mitch. He is part of the portrait series Opie did of her friend within the community. There was a great verity of people in these images, most of who would be considered part of a sub-culture. I found these images inspiring. They were taking quite a while ago and granted it was on the west cost, these people were living life they way they wanted despite what the main stream though.

All in all it was a great show. I am very glad we braved the freezing cold and wind to go. It was great to see some of Opie's work that is not the really "out there" stuff that she is know for and to see how her work as evolved from that of a passionate advocate to a family woman with children.