Friday, November 10, 2006

Walker Evans exhibit in NYC

I was in New York City this week visiting with VCs and our channel partner Soleil. I love coming to New York and am always amazed by the density and variety of the population, the vibrancy, the beauty of the skyline, and central park. I usually go for a Central Park run in the morning. It's a great place to clear my thoughts and soak in the vibe of the city before starting my work day. I also usually try to get in a couple of new things that I haven't experienced each trip. On this visit I stopped by the Walker Evans exhibit at the UBS building on 6th Avenue.

A couple of weeks before I left I was having coffee with someone in Boulder who mentioned the Walker Evans exhibit (thanks for the recommendation Dave). I am an art enthusiast but have never really followed photographic art, so I didn't know who Walker Evans was. The back ground from the brochure found at the beginning of the exhibit sums him up this way:

"His greatest single body of work was documenting the effects of the Great Depression on rural families for the Farm Security Administration in 1935-36. The FSA mission was to generate visual evidence reinforcing Roosevelt's New Deal programs. Evans loudly resisted anything political - right or left - but soon realized the futility of his denial. He wisely compromised and seized the opportunity to work incognito as a photojournalist, producing work satisfying his own vision plus the job's demands."

As I walked along the corridor the pictures jumped off the panels and grabbed something deep inside me. Seeing the faces of sharecropper families, knees, feet, and hands worn by careless circumstance, their expressions resolute, neither happy nor sad, struck a strong chord of reality. In most cases life is forced down the throat of the living and you just have to deal with it. There is something sublime about the non-biased view that the lens provides, taking the viewer voyeuristically back to a different place and time and shreds the perspective of today's assumptions.

If you get the chance, I would highly recommend taking in this exhibit.

1 comment:

Johnny said...

On that note, here is another master -

Where have you been?


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