Friday, January 18, 2013

ExEx as in Exciting Exhibitions

Over the past month or so I have been lucky enough to visit three great photo exhibitions in three lovely cities. Whenever I have a chance I try to check out potentially interesting (for me) exhibitions (art, photography, fashion etc). Living in Madrid it is not too hard, it's more like there's TOO much going on all the time for a normal person to grasp. Okay, but let's cut to the chase.

Elliott Erwitt, Personal Best @Elephant Paname (Paris, France) 

Last December I spent one day (yes, only about 12 hours) in Paris and I was stocked to find out there's Elliott Erwitt's exhibition as he is one of my favorite photographers. I say it was fate 'cos I found out about it on Instagram - I spotted a poster with the exhibition information as background to a photo posted there by a stranger. You know, tiny little Instagram pic on your smartphone screen. Hundreds of new pics all the time. And I was lucky enough to spot such a small detail. 

It was well worth it. I loved the gallery with its squeaky old staircase on a quiet side street in central Paris. Ever so amazing and inspirational. Me, couple of Asian tourists and some art students, no big fuss. Oh and the staff was so lovely and I got to practice my broken French a tiny bit.

Cas Oorthuys, Bruxelles 1946-1956 @City Museum (Brussels, Belgium)

It was a really chilly day in Brussels and while I was taking my super touristy walk from Manneken Pis to the see the Town Hall I felt like I need a little warm break and then I saw that the City Museum facing Town Hall is holding a photo exhibition. Needless to say I made my way in and enjoyed a fun photographic trip into the history of Brussels. Loved his work and how most of his work was shot in 1:1 ratio. Squares work so well at times. Even for street photography or maybe especially for street photography. 

Imogen Cunningham @Sala Azca (Madrid, Spain)

First of all I must say that Fundacion MAPFRE has always such amazing exhibitions and they're for free. It would be a sin to miss them. I had never been to Sala Azca before. It was in a bit of an evil location, in a mall (ahem, yes, sales want to get the best of me, but I try to resist). However, the exhibition was a lot bigger and versatile than I had anticipated. I am always in awe when I see that people took what to me seem like very modern photos already in the beginning of the 20th century. And to imagine that back in the days being a female photographer was rather unheard of. Very inspiring. From nudes to portraits to plants to street photography - Imogen was really creative (and obviously had great technical skills). Oh and she was born 100 years before me, I think that is a nice little fact.

So, yes, while photos often look very good on a screen and you can browse through thousands and millions of them online, I'd say they still look a lot better framed on a wall. Coincidentally all the exhibitions I saw had b&w photography. I am not saying b&w is easy to shoot, but I'd say it's easy to fall in love with it. The crisp clean images (even if they happen to be blurry or hazy they seem somewhat clean and pure) are mesmerizing. 

I have noticed one thing, the more I go to different exhibitions the more I want to go to even more exhibitions. No better (affordable) source for inspiration (and education). 


Ps. Click on the links, google the images, feel inspired!

1 comment:

  1. It's the same with (classical) music in Vienna for me. I'm seriously going to miss it once back in Estonia ...