Wednesday, February 4, 2009
Destination: Photos, America
I recommend that you check out the current photography exhibit at the National Gallery of Art, "Robert Frank's The Americans". On display are walls of black and white photographs by Frank, taken in the 1950's, that exhibit that iconic images of classic American life. Yes, readers of old LIFE magazines and admirers of Norman Rockwell , there are jukeboxes, old cars, and American flags galore. Just as Buddy Holly influenced the eye-wear of many-a-hipster in this day and age, I think Frank must have indirectly influenced the images they take with the cameras they all seem to carry around.
The exhibit has been open for a little over two weeks, and I found it packed with visitors last Saturday. It celebrates the 50th anniversary of the publishing of The Americans, Frank's expose of what were at the time considered controversial images. The subjects of the photos are casual, picturing routines of everyday existence -- but composed with utmost elegance that capture a sincerity that I hope remains in American life to this day.