John Coplans at Ricco Maresca Gallery
ME: Photographic Self Portraits Group Exhibition
September 17, 2015--October 24, 2015
Opening Reception: Thursday, September 17, 2015, 6-8pm
ME presents a collection of 144 vintage and contemporary self-portraits, featuring works by Pierre Dubreuil, Constantin Brâncuși, Edward Steichen, André Kertész, Berenice Abbott, Weegee, Allen Ginsberg, Andy Warhol, Francesca Woodman, Vivian Maier, Kaia Miller & Sara Salaway
From the press release:
"Not only can they bring down the powerful, caught in scandalous intrigue—Anthony Weiner, for one—but there are a number of stories about people who, in effect, fell off the cliff. The original self-lover, Narcissus, was so enthralled by his reflection in the water that he drew too close and drowned.There are also contemporary narcissi, like Xenia Ignatyeva, the 17-year-old Russian girl who lost her balance and tumbled off the side of a railway bridge, and 21-year old Oscar Otero Aguilar, from Mexico, who tried to take a selfie of himself posing with a gun and, well, you can work it out.
Making and sending pictures of your lunch, your outfits and giant body parts: your boobs or package all plumped up… The world has gone mad; it’s the moral apocalypse. At least we will have the photographic evidence.
Blame the Australians. Google tells us that the first use of “selfie” as a word came from down under a dozen years ago in an Internet forum. Further back, in 1839, we can credit Robert Cornelius for making a daguerreotype of himself, this was apparently one of the first images of any person, let alone a self-portrait. The process, for Mr. Cornelius, was so slow he could uncover the lens, run around to get into the picture and then go back to close it. Nowadays he could probably post it simultaneously.
In many respects, the original selfies were the amazing Photomatics: spontaneous photo booth snapshots in individual metal frames, especially popular between the World Wars. A remarkable collection of 144 of these works will be presented in ME. Photomatics originated from a contraption invented by Anatol Josepho (born Josephewitz in Siberia), who opened the “Photomaton” Studio on Broadway and 51st Street in 1925. "Within 20 years there were more than 30,000 booths in the United States alone, due largely to World War II soldiers exchanging photos with their loved ones,” writes Mark Bloch in From Behind the Curtain: A History of the Photobooth."
—© W.M. Hunt, 2015.
Top: John Coplans, Back and Hands, 1984, Gelatin Silver Print, 24 x 20 in.
Above: John Coplans, Interlocking Fingers No. 12, 1999, Gelatin Silver Print, 24 x 20 in.
Ricco Maresca Gallery
529 West 20th Street. 3rd Floor
New York, NY 10011
Gallery hours: 11am-6pm Tuesday – Saturday
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