Going The Long (or Wrong) Way to Brooklyn - Annie Leibovitz
Sadly, Dr. Quiz, Dutch, Hobbit and I all missed a hot young uptown party & the big 27th street west Gallery Openings to attend a "special" opening this Friday Night. You can read the reviews for yourself..
- Roberta Smith in the NYT
- Janny Scott preview in the NYT
- Deepti Hajela of the Canadian Press
- The Associated Press in the International Herald Tribune
- Blogger NewYorkology
- Wendy Zarganis on Brooklyn and Peter Marshall on Photography both at About.com
- Michele Norris of NPR.org
- Even CNN ran a review of the Leibovitz Show
We all found the show a total bore. It's impressive all these reviewers were even able to find something nice to say. The show proves one thing.. there's a reason why Annie Leibovitz is known as a celebrity portrait artist.. because that's what she does best! Actually her inclusion of tons of "personal photo's" of friends and family while cute, and tragic at times, all fall very simple and flat in this show. These numerous unremarkable images added little to nothing, and are more of a distraction to some of the stronger celebrity portraits. There are almost no images which show the photographer's interaction with these "Personal Photo's" leaving a cold disconnect. Even after reading the short text in the book, and at the show.. you gain little in site into the Leibovitz/Sontag relationship. We all felt, presenting these photos along side her commercial work added almost nothing to the show. (FYI, Annie's 2001 photo of the George W. Bush cabinet is amazing....which almost makes the trip to Brooklyn worth the trek.. but not quite!)
In total the show is as painful, as your next door neighbor taking hours to show you tons of slides from their last family vacation. Only in this case it's Annie, her girlfriend Susan Sontag, their children, and her dying father. But what really screams of mediocrity are her
huge tacky billboard size landscape/nature photos. It proves, bigger is not better, and they completely waste occupy one of the largest rooms in the museum. For us, all of these photo's said nothing other than.. "There are several reasons why Annie Leibovitz is not, and never will be well recognized as a Landscape, Nature or Social/Biographical Art photographer..... "
The show is up in Brooklyn till January, and then it travels to San Diego, Atlanta, DC, San Fran, Paris and even London. Wow!!! Now that's a lot of mileage for so little. I'm not sure if it was even worth the subway ride across the east river.
Also, if you need a few extra dozen pounds of
useless paper art book, there is a new giant sized book to rationalize document the show. Look for it on sale at Costco, and I'm not sure who's getting the copy I have for Christmas yet.. but, let me know if you have a mother-in-law and need a big gift??