One thing I have learned in my several weeks here at MOPA is that the photographic arts can be challenging. I think of photography in a classic camera-film-picture sort of way. But that is a rather limited view. First off, the term photographic arts includes more than just pictures or still images. Video and film are very much a part of this category. After all, a film or video is merely a sequence of images strung together in a rapid fashion. But this was not the challenging part.
Most times when I give a public talk about my fifteen and a half years of research on the life and work W. Eugene Smith, or when I do media interviews, like I did in May for the JLP opening at MOPA, I am asked how I got into it. It’s a good question. Another good one is, how did Smith get into his line of work?
I had the occasion recently to visit New York City for several days. I saw a lot of terrific art, including the Cindy Sherman show at the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Biennial, and the Francesca Woodman exhibition at the Guggenheim.
To me, one of the most incredible qualities of photography is its ability to show you how something sounded or felt through a silent image. And the photographer who can do that reaches his/her viewers in a way that transcends the sense of sight, to a realm where vision becomes the catalyst for so much more.
MOPA has always been an institution that showcases photographers who push the limits of the art form. Whether it's through the subjects they photograph, the message of their images, or their treatment of the medium, we look to inspire our visitors by showing them something unexpected and meaningful. This Februray, we will be opening Unusual Suspects: Paintings and Photographs by Holly Roberts , an exhibition that will expose our audience to a different take on photography.