Monday, October 29, 2007


On Friday night I went with my friend Stefani to the Getty Center's "Fridays Off The 405" event. The entire museum was open til 9pm and there was live music. The evening definitely attracted a well dressed, young, hip crowd. Even if I don't walk into a single gallery, I love visiting the Getty Center. The architecture, the grounds, the gardens, and the views (on a clear day you can see Downtown L.A., the beach, and the city). Getting to go there as the light changes from daylight to twilight to evening is even more special. My main reason for going was to take in the Edward Weston photography exhibit. The Getty ALWAYS puts on phenomenal photography exhibits. In the case of the Weston exhibit, not only are they showing Weston's work but they also have a few of his contemporaries (Ansel Adams, Imogen Cunningham, Tina Modotti) photos up as well so you can compare his work in context with others of his era. I especially loved a portrait Weston did of Lois Kellogg - a wealthy socialite who had an affair with both Weston and his female secretary/model. Next door to the Weston exhibit is "In Focus: The Nude" and they actually have up the famous Man Ray photo of the woman who's back is adorned to look like a violin. It was pretty cool to actually see that famous image in person. I also loved Imogen Cunningham's "Triangles" (seen here). They even have a photo taken by Edgar Degas that shows one of the models for his famous "After The Bath" painting. I wasn't necessarily looking forward to the Luc Delahaye exhibit entitled "Recent History," but was really blown away by the images that are the largest photographs that I have ever seen. According to the Getty website, "this series of large-scale photographs features significant recent events ranging from political demonstrations to natural disasters and evidence of war and genocides. While these subjects are known through the media, Delahaye's images propose a different view of them." And boy is that description right, even though the subject matter is mostly grim or political (just check out the titles: "A Rally of the Opposition Candidate Alexander Milinkevich" or "Aftermath in Meulaboh") - through sheer size, composition, and color - Delahaye pulled me in again and again. In contrast to the Weston images that are quite small - where you have to walk up real close to take in the details - the Delahaye images keep you at a distance. Walking up close to them is pointless. More from the Getty website, "By positioning himself at eye level or above, Delahaye engages viewers as direct observers. His images appear to be momentarily halted theatrical performances that are open to our participation. Their dramatic scale emphasizes the fullness and complexity of the events depicted and also gives us the opportunity to examine their details." What's so fascinating is that if these same images were in "Time Magazine," I probably would have passed through them quickly, but their giant scale in context of the gallery setting really gives you an opportunity to take in their beauty and drama. And unlike the images we're used to seeing in "Time," Delahaye's feel really fresh. Some photos are as large as 8 to 10 feet wide! For anyone that thinks that photography is a lesser medium than painting, go check out Delahaye's work. This image called "132nd Ordinary Meeting of the Conference" was my favorite. I'm even sorry to post this photo here because you just cannot get the impact from a teeny, tiny photo on the web. Really just go see it live. As per usual, I took lots of photos around the Getty. Although I wouldn't say I'm blown away by any of these shots (I have better ones from other days), I'm still going to post them for your enjoyment. I think my garden shots look pretty good, but the actual architecture ones looked better on my D40 screen then blown up on the computer. While the Getty always looks amazing, there's just certain days when the sky is a certain shade of blue or the clouds are perfect or the shadows are intense or you just capture a moment that is perfect. This wasn't one of those days, but even on a average day, the Getty still looks beautiful.

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