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MOPA's Newest Acquisitions

On Wednesday, June 19th, MOPA held its annual Acquisitions Dinner. At the dinner, members of the Museum's collecting groups decided what photographs to add to the permanent collection. Julie Blackmon's Hair received the most votes, but with the budget available, we were also able to acquire Renaissance Dream #1311 by Bill Armstrong and Untitled #3186 by Todd Hido.

Hair, Julie Blackmon - 2013

Chaotic yet controlled, Julie Blackmon’s photographs depict disorderly scenes of domestic life.  Her work is inspired by the 17th century Dutch painter, Jan Steen, who frequently depicted his own boisterous family gatherings. Similarly, Blackmon inserts her own personal narratives into her images. 

 
  

Untitled #3186, Todd Hido - 2003

The image presented here from Todd Hido is an exquisite example of his ability to transform anonymous and ordinary landscapes into places that are haunting and mysterious. Exploring rural towns and towns on outskirts of American cities alone by car, often photographing from the driver’s seat, allows Hido to bear witness to these places, while at the same time fulfilling his desire to capture something otherwise commonplace and make it theatrical. 
  

Rennaisance Dream #1311, Bill Armstrong - 2010

For more than a decade, Bill Armstrong has been working on his Infinity series, a body of work that is wide ranging in subject matter. Using appropriated images, which he manipulates through photocopying, cutting, painting, and re-photographing, Armstrong focuses the lens to “infinity”.  The resulting images become blurred representations of what they once were. This effect removes the detail and eliminates the representational qualities of the subject, allowing the viewer to bring their own interpretation to his work. In this aspect, the images become about perception, mystery, and visceral response.