Thursday, April 26, 2012

Instant Inspiration from the Lens Masters

Photo by Nina Berman, Casting Call, Times Square, New York, 2000
In her wonderful book, "On Photography," writer Susan Sontag says, "Photographed images do not seems to be statements about the world so much as pieces of it, miniatures of reality that anyone can make or acquire."

I agree with her. For me, a great photo is a chance to appropriate a point of view, the idea of a life, possibly different from mine, and always (at least seemingly) more glamorous, more intense, more alive.

One source I often go to for that shot of photographic inspiration, is the Howard Greenberg Gallery in New York.  Their online site is inspiration-central for me, with its interactive archive of hundreds of photos from the likes of Lisette Model, William Klein, Sarah Moon, Helen Levitt, and even Jessica Lange (Yes, the actress).


William Klein
Jessica Lange
Don Hunstein
Esther Bubley
Below is a print I've been saving for. It is by Danny Lyon, he of the incredible shots of the civil rights movement of the sixties. Have you ever seen such incredible shades of blue in an interior shot? And what about the irony of the shot? The woman's pose and dress? Priceless. 

Danny Lyon, Subway, New York, 1966
If you ever decide to make an investment in fine art photography, there are many great galleries whose staff will take the time to help you find just the right print for your wall, and your net worth. (At Howard Greenberg, you can ask for Ali Price, who knows everything about every print, style, and artist.) Or click on my Resources page for a short list of galleries or online art sites with which I've had a good experience. You may also want to explore Aperture Magazine's website for great articles and deep discounts on authentic prints by a variety of masters.

These days, you can get a good limited-edition, signed print by a rising star, and sometimes by an established master for anywhere between $500 and a couple of thousand.

In the meantime, a picture may be worth a thousand words, but thanks to the Internet, the inspiration a good photo can provide is absolutely free.  

8 comments:

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