Friday, January 11, 2008
The other day, this photo arrived in the mail. A late Christmas card from a distant family friend? Not quite. Flipping it over, I realized it was a postcard from the Fay Gold Gallery announcing this month's show of Tina Barney's photographs.
Barney began photographing friends and family in the 1980's in well-to-do enclaves of the East Coast. While her settings are staged, the resulting photograph captures the spontaneous movement and split-second thoughts that may flicker across the mind of her subjects. An artistic precursor to reality television, perhaps?
Each photograph is a little mystery, and fans of Barney's work spend hours trying to unravel the story provided by clues in the details. Faces may be tense or indifferent--challenging the notion that material wealth yields smiling happiness.
If you are in Atlanta this month, I highly recommend the show at Fay Gold which combines early American work with her more recent photographs taken in Europe.