Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Photos That Grabbed Me By the Throat

So when a person visits the Metropolitan Museum of Art, it would seem natural that the most famous works of art would be the most moving. And boy, I did love seeing those Van Gogh canvases, maybe I can blog about that another day. But for me, the most amazing thing I saw in the Met was a special collection of photographs by a guy I had never heard of before: Leon Levinstein.

From the Open Culture website, a brief introduction of who he was:
In the 1960s, while now-iconic photographers like Robert Frank and Diane Arbus were busy becoming iconic — applying for grants, entering award shows, hustling for high-profile magazine assignments — Leon Levinstein was blending into crowds, unnoticed, documenting street life and the era’s hipsters: beach bums, downtown derrieres, street hustlers. An unsung photography hero of the 20th century, Levinstein crafted and inhabited a lonely, hermit-like world behind his lens, yet managed to capture the richness of the world in front of it with remarkable elegance and vigor.

This man's photography was mind-blowing. I love the way he filled the frame in such original ways. He was way ahead of his time. I could have looked at his photos all day. I am so glad I found out that I can see the photographs online at the museum's website. I highly encourage everyone to go look at them NOW. In fact, I would love to hear which one(s) are your favorites.

I'll leave you with a quote from Mr. Levinstein:
A good photograph will prove to the viewer how little our eyes permit us to see. Most people only see what they have always seen and what they expect to see. Where a photographer, if he’s good, will see everything.

1 comment:

Shari said...

Amazing. I thought the woman in the white dress asleep on the sand was quite interesting. -shari