"...let her be judged alongside Cartier Bresson, Dorothea Lange, Arnold Newman, Margaret Bourke-White, etc."
Or, as a photographer of famous people and style, Richard Avedon or Irving Penn. In those comparisons, she also comes up short.
Sorry. I just simply don't like her work or the whole ga-ga celeb scene in which she seems to thrive.
Constructive criticism? Why would anyone give contructive criticism of Liebowitz in a forum on the internet? That is given to people whom you know. Would you qualify Susan Sontag's writings as constructive criticism? A.D. Coleman's? I think you are confusing criticism and critiquing.
Originally Posted by Nicole
Leibowitz puts her work out there as art. In San Diego it was shown at the Museum of Art, not the Museum of Photographic Arts (much better by the way, probably one of the best photo museums in the world.) I am offering an opinion based on my knowledge and my feelings of her work. I have seen the prints in person and they are pretty weak. At best they are family snapshots mixed with celebrity photos, but hold little artistic value. Compare her celebrity images with someone such as Kratochvil, who has made powerul portraits of many celebrities. Check out his book "Incognito." There are many photographers that deserve far more attention than she gets. I am just calling it like it is. I'll admit there isn't anything constructive about it. It's just criticism.
Wonder if anybody ever mentioned that fact to Yousuf Karsh...?
Originally Posted by rhphoto
I wonder how many hours have been spent bitching about dead artists rather than taking pics????? ;)
I like her work.
I espescially like her Atlanta Olympics book.
Perhaps she viewed the assignment as opportunism - a'la Leni R. - but she does capture the athletic body in a democratic kind of way. A triumph of the individual rather than of the "Will".
I also detect just a slight whiff of envy and jealousy in this thread - although I could be wrong. :confused: ;)
She may not make a personal connection with her client but who cares. She creates image. When you look at her subjects you see the image they want you to see.
As for the "but is it art" vomit? To me her images are. To others not. I would love to sit down with her and try to figure out her visual processes. How she can create the desired image. When you see the people you don't see them you see their persona, their image, and that is why she gets hired. She could make a homeless man look like the most powerful person in the world.
It is funny to hear people talk about all of her assistants and what not. Have you heard how Maplethorpe(sp) worked? I roll my eyes too but hell, if it works for them, and apparently it does/did, then who am I judge.
George, to not like someone's work does not require envy and jeolousy. I'm sure there are many photographers whose work you don't personally value, but I doubt it's because you're jealous of them.
Mark, I mentioned her lack of ability (or effort) to make a personal connection because, to me, most people images without soul leave me cold. Doesn't mean her work can't be valuable to someone else, but it's a major factor in my not liking it.
I enjoy her work.
edit: Posted at same time as Cheryl's response and no connection to it.
I wasn't going to expand on my last short comment, as we've been round the houses on this one before on this forum! I have, anyway. Oh well!
I do think Leibovitz's work has the power to make connections, to make you stop and look a little further, think a little bit. Maybe not all of it, but as has been said, a lot of her work is editorial and that would not always have been the prime purpose.
I also saw a documentary where she spoke of her difficulty in 'making connections' with people she is photographing. I had a slightly different take on what was being said - I thought she was being honest and even self-deprecating, certainly willing to investigate the complexities and pitfalls of photographing people.
I do certainly think there is more to her work than the fact that she was in the right place at the right time.
An interesting avalanche of thoughts, reactions, critiques and judgements. I guess I won't add any. There was interesting commentary on "bringing out the soul of the human subject", Leibovitz's self-professed inability to do so, and how photography captures the consciously projected, immaculately prepped image of the celebrity subject. I personally have never seen a photograph that in any way brings out the soul of a human subject. I have only seen photographs that show how life and circumstance have made their marks on the visage, left their trace in the eyes in some physically perceptible way. There's one picture in the book that's a show-stopper for me: the Bush Administration in the Oval Office. It's eerie. Frightening. One thinks: can it be real? Do these people exist? The banality of evil, here seen in the stars'n stripes lapel pins and the knowing blankness of the politician's gaze.