Saturday, January 17, 2009


In 1979, photographer Lee Friedlander paid an unknown dancer $25 to sit for some nude portraits. In 2009, Christie's auction house is expecting to sell a black and white 13" x 8 & 5/8"print of one of the shots for $10,000-15,000 dollars. The model Friendlander photographed was a 20 year old, pre-fame Madonna.

Nude (Madonna) 1979

Even with Madonna as the model, I don't think the image is necessarily good or beautiful. It's a run of the mill nude photograph. If Madonna's fame wasn't attached to this image, it surely would have slipped away from any notoriety or notice.

Here's one of Friedlander's nudes (part of the Museum Of Modern Art's collection in NYC) that is worth looking at:

Nude, 1982

Friendlander is in no way one of my favorite photographers, but if I did have a spare $10,000-15,000 burning a hole in my pocket, here are some of his images I would be happy to hang on my wall:

Haverstraw, NY 1966 (the man in the photo is Friedlander)

Texas, 1965 (note: Friedlander appears in shadow)

Mt. Rushmore, South Dakota 1965

Albuequerque 1972

Friedlander is often the subject in his own photographs - either directly through self-portrait or indirectly through inclusion of his shadow.

Here's my ode to Friedlander photographed December 28, 2008 in Venice, CA:

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