Ben Davis’s rejoinder to Devon Rodriguez.
… we should think of his social media posts as part of his practice, to be reviewed in and of themselves. These are, after all, not just how he got famous; in some sense they are what he is really famous for. And they are in many cases clearly staged….
Artists’ personal stories have long been part of how art is marketed, from Vincent van Gogh to Frida Kahlo, but in those cases, the artists’ paintings attracted interest first, and the biography became part of its legend as its fame grew. Today, personal biography and narrative are more important than ever in the gallery—most art comes equipped with some kind of story. But social media gives an added twist: Hordes of people can feel as if they have a relationship with a painter like Devon Rodriguez without ever having had any direct experience of his painting at all.
IMO, for empathetic, unguarded, photo-realistic images of passengers on the subway, look to Walker Evans’s photographs.
I love everything about this image from Shorpy (save one): the motion blur of the waitresses and ceiling fan, obscure prepackaged food, checkerboarded mini tile floor, shiny Coca-Cola fountain—and above all, the patrons ranked behind the diners, waiting their turn. The blot: as commenters have noted, this image is from 1942, when Washington was segregated. The photo is by Marjory Collins for the Farm Security Administration.
“Have iPhone Cameras Become Too Smart?,” by Kyle Chayka. I really want to quote the whole piece as a blockquote, but I will just pull out:
We are all pro photographers now, at the tap of a finger, but that doesn’t mean our photos are good.
A portrait of Pullman porter Alfred MacMillan on the Capitol Limited by Jack Delano (at Shorpy).
Two recent posts by Shorpy caught my attention, both of them photos taken by Jack Delano in 1940: House of Fleas and Mystic Manor.
Another priceless photographic artifact, Marion Post Wolcott’s image of the Osage Spot in 1938 at Shorpy.
A reason to get back on the Orange Line: Artomatic is coming to New Carrollton at the end of the month, as Bob Niedt reports.
In honor of the opening of Washington Dulles International Airport 52 years ago: a stunning gallery of images of the Eero Saarinen-designed airport under construction, photographed by Balthazar Korab, and donated to the Library of Congress.
A triumph of the quotidian (and here at AHoaA, we are all about the quotidian), perfectly composed, at Shorpy: George’s Arax washes the Nash in Wausau.
At Shorpy, a delicious photograph from 1963 of the Bombay Bicycle Club bar in New York’s Essex House.
One of my favorite underrepresented photographic subjects, the porcelain convenience at Shorpy.