Water Mill, NY
Every portrait photograph is a collaborative effort between photographer and subject. Nowhere is this relationship more evident than when the subject is a fellow artist. Much like the nineteenth-century French photographer Nadar, who captured the images of the great painters and writers of his day, Annie Leibovitz has recorded many celebrated artists, including this striking image of Chuck Close. Nan Goldin’s portrait of her longtime friend, the artist and activist David Wojnarowicz, seated by a window in his loft overlooking the Bowery, reflects the downtown scene of both photographer and subject. While she was still a college student, Cindy Sherman began to pose as a variety of characters, often drawn from the movies. Here she has photographed herself as the young starlet Lucille Ball—one of Sherman’s earliest “film still” shots.
Henri Cartier-Bresson was known for seizing the “decisive moment.” In the photograph of Alberto Giacometti, seen putting last minute touches on an installation, the sculptor moves so quickly that his figure is blurred. Renate Ponsold recorded a visit to Roy Lichtenstein’s Southampton studio where she photographed the artist surrounded by paintings from his Mirror series (1969–1972). Photographer and musician Linda McCartney grew up spending summers on the East End of Long Island, where family friends included many artists and writers, and she and her husband Paul returned frequently over the years with their family. Here he and neighbor Willem de Kooning pose with a canvas brought outside and leaned against the studio wall—placing the painting in the natural surroundings that inspired the artist.
Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website