Saturday, November 19, 2011

self-portrait. With decorated bottles.

No, this isn't a split frame, in the sense of being a composite picture - but it struck me as I was typing, this morning, how neatly the screen of the computer was functioning as a mirror.    It wasn't, of course, straight upright - that's an optical illusion - and nor are the bottles listing at some drunken angle, but the quirkiness is part of its appeal, to me, at least.   Though my visit to the opening of the excellent Weegee in Hollywood show at MOCA this evening - curated by my colleague Richard Meyer - was enough to cure me, through aversion therapy, of quirky photographs for ever and ever.   If sometimes Weegee's own sense of humor is forgivable (the Laughing Mule at the Pet Oscars, or whatever the awards were called, next to a society woman arching her own head back, and opening her mouth toothily wide in braying amusement), most often it's jaw droopingly sexist, or just plain silly.   I admire Richard hugely for putting together a show that makes us think about Weegee in context, and think about him in interesting ways (and about the society that he was not just photographing, but photographing for), when the personality (and a number of the photographs, despite his slick technical ability) seems not to have been the most endearing.   Still, there's a whole lot of Flashy material to get me thinking in the show, too - including some Weegee how-to manuals written for Westinghouse ("I can honestly say that my new book, 'Naked Hollywood,' could never have been done without dependable Westinghouse flashbulbs," goes a 1953 advertisement in Popular Mechanics) that are super-tough to track down, and are now, very frustratingly, sitting in full view, but behind plain glass ...

No comments:

Post a Comment