Notable: Is It Art? Paparazzo Photos

In Article, Black and White Photography, Photographer on July 30, 2010 at 8:29 am


Ron Galella Lt

In a new documentary film on celebrity photographer Ron Galella, the old saw “Is it art?” is directed towards the controversial  topic of bushwhack photography.

Some collectors, fellow photographers and gossip mongers hail him as an artist, while others dismiss him as a bottom feeder and a parasite whose work will decline in interest as the renown of its subjects evaporates. This notion, articulated most incisively by Thomas Hoving, a former director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, provokes an interesting thought experiment.

Would candid pictures, say, of Mick Jagger or Bruce Springsteen, or a shuffle of images from the heyday of Studio 54 (where scene makers as various as Michael Jackson, Edward M. Kennedy, Grace Jones and Edward I. Koch were captured by Mr. Galella’s lens) be at all interesting if you did not recognize the person in front of the camera?

An interesting approach to a prosaic subject.

What do you think?

For more on the movie: NYTIMES


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