Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Middle Eastern Women Photographers & John Singer Sargent

  Believe it or not, there is a connection between Middle Eastern women photographers of the 21st century and 19th century painter John Singer Sargent, at least in my mind.  I had never had an appreciation for Sargent's work until I saw a show in Glasgow, Scotland, back in 1995 when my theatre company (Beyond the Proscenium Productions) took a new work compiled by Terrilyn Moore (Dancing with Desire: a Poetic Fandango with the Erotic & the Bawdy) to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.  On one of our rare days off from performing, JK and I took the train over to Glasgow and in a small museum I saw a show of Sargent's portraits including the daring one of Madame X.

I had never known what a renegade he was as an artist of his era.... as are the women photographers of the Middle East.  These thoughts courtesy of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston where I recently saw both shows.  First let's have a look at the Sargent who painted his en plein air watercolors of women wearing voluminous clothing that was the style of the day, much like the clothing proscribed for women by certain religious governments in the Middle East.

He certainly had a mastery of his medium.  I like the way the background gets abstract in Woman with Shawl.
and then my favorite of the show
Now let's jump a couple hundred years into the present with this small but powerful exhibit of work by women photographers

Here are my favorite images from the show beginning with a beguiling still life.

Now, your intrepid traveler is in Miami for the madness known as Art Week.  I'm part of the show at Bilhenry Gallery at Spectrum Art Fair in the midtown area, where the cool graffiti park is located.  Tomorrow I go to install my work there.  In the bar of the hotel I'm at, a guy was telling me of his project at the Miami Yachet Club where he has made an alligator barge that will have tiles floating behind it.  Thanks for the glass of wine Lloyd, least I could do is post a link to your project!
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