11 April 2014

Museum of Modern Art

Untitled from Mannequins by Valérie Belin, 2003
 The Museum of Modern Art was whirl to me! We just so happened to go on a Friday night, which is apparently sponsored by Uniqlo. It was jam packed. But it was free! It was hard to get into the building, let alone see everything. We decided to just do a few of the galleries, one of which was photography. I completely missed the fact that MoMA has Van Gogh's Starry Night. Still kicking myself for missing that! The photo collection on view was really good. I got to see some classics from art school and it was neat to finally see them in person.

They had a collection of alternative processes photos on view and they were all beautiful. There were two gigantic cyanotypes and all I could think about was how dangerous it must have been to make them. In art school, a friend and I wanted to do a cyanotype of a full sized person, but our professor said it would be very dangerous because of the chemicals. Now, I don't know how the photographer fared after those giant prints, but they were cool.

Anyway, on to the good stuff and a mini critique:

The portrait above is a large print and is quite striking in person. It is untitled and by a French artitst, Valérie Belin. It took me about 30 seconds to realize that it is a portrait of a mannequin, and that was what locked me into loving this piece. I like what it is saying about contemporary portraiture and the fact that the photographer is showing her feelings in a somewhat passive aggressive manner. I can relate. When women are photographed they are often touched up to look like perfect little mannequins, so why not just take portraits of mannequins. Love it. I looked her up and found her website, which has the rest of the photos from this series. In some of them it is obvious that they are mannequins, kind of like how it is obvious when a photo of someone has been photoshopped. Others in the series are like this one and it takes you a minute to discern whether or not it's a human.

Her website if you want to see the other mannequin portraits:
http://valeriebelin.com/works/2003-mannequins

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