Monday, September 15, 2008

Jill Greenberg / John McCain

photographs above by Jill Greenberg Google "Jill Greenberg + John McCain" and you'll see what is going on. First it started with a story in PDN found HERE, and a response from The the NY Post...what is next, a press conference at the United Nations? But JG is really going for it, not holding back, see it all HERE.

I love Greenberg's work done in the project End Times, and vividly recall staring at a giant print at Photo L.A. of a crying toddler and just thought it was standing at the base of a giant canyon and being moved by it. But then...she had these titles with political overtones that just kind of took the work down a few i.q. points for me. I was confused. Why is this great photographer injecting politics into things whenever she can, to the detriment of the art? Pondering that work and this McCain situation, one can say that she is consistent.

No solid comment from me on the controversy about McCain, I'll leave that to everyone else in the world. But...we gotta remember, we are photographers often times paid for our viewpoints, and paid to have opinions. We are not camera operators. Just gotta finesse these things sometimes, and maybe let the photographs do the talking.

Here are some shots where the photographers took some liberties and delivered their opinions. In descending order, we have portraits by Richard Avedon, Arnold Newman, and Gregory Heisler. This is what the history of photography is made of:


Darrell Eager said...

Let's not forget the trouble and outrage that fell on Matt Mahurin when he did the OJ Simpson Time cover.
All he did was a Matt Mahurin Cover.
I think the flack is more about her website then the cover. And maybe the problem is more that she's saying what they should be reporting. He said he want's to further women's rights, but he did call his wife a cunt in front of reporters. He also had an affair on his first wife because she was disfigured from a car accident. And he also offered up Cindy McCain to participate in Miss Buffalo Chip contest. Which is a Wet t-shirt contest that usually ends up as hide the banana.
So I might not go as far as she did, but it is her website. And as far as a lot of photographer worrying about how this is going to affect them,
I would worry more about McCain/Palin.
I agree with you that this is getting way to much attention, I couldn't help myself.

Rob Prideaux said...

I had the same reaction to the titles on her babies series.

And to all the people predicting/hoping for the end of her career, there was a similarly flavored outrage over her methods for that series, but she seems to remain in high demand.

I'm generally in support of her actions; I just think she could've crowed less about her process.

If you want to kill a little time with a bunch of opinions on the topic, some measured, some ignorant, a few funny, try Metafilter.

Anonymous said...

Love yer blog Timothy. Keep going......

Regarding the samples you show.....I have what I believe is the story behind the R Avedon shot of the Windsors:

They kept smiling all during the shoot. Posing, you know. Avedon wanted to bring forward the tragic dimensions of abdicating because of love.

He knew the Windsors were dog lovers so told them part way thru the shoot that the taxi he was in that morning had hit a dog. The dog had been mortally wounded and died a painful death. Then he took the photo you include here.

To me that's totally fair. Using your brain and psychology is way smarter than Photoshopping sharks teeth and monkey poo into a shot.

The problem with yelling (as per the JG McCain pix) is that people just turn off. If you really want to be heard.....whisper.


Anonymous said...

Hmm, what trait links all of the photographers of the controversial photos? I know...we're not supposed to notice.

Timothy Archibald said...

Hey, anony, clarify please. What trait links all the photogs?

Alisha Stamper said...

Hi, glad to find your blog. i think i'm pretty much the same mindset, though i changed camps on the arnold newman tie-in after reading this-- newman's photograph is one of the most impressionable i have seen and it was the first thing i thought of when i first saw the mccain pictures.
its update 2.