Monday, July 30, 2012
Jose Luis Arbus in Santa Barbara
Everywhere I have been turning lately, there have been photographic portrait shows at museums, and the Santa Barbara Art Museum this summer is no exception, with a large exhibit taken mostly from their permanent collection called Portrayal/Betrayal.
The exhibit turned out to be surprisingly entertaining at every corner, even though the arbitrary ArtSpeak themes for each room weren't particularly interesting. Above is a Sally Mann photograph, The Good Father, which is strange and erotic enough that it's easy to see why Ms. Mann has trouble with public authorities. This was in the "Photographing Family and Friends" room.
The most interesting room was devoted to artists taking pictures of artists, such as the bizarre 1965 photo of Bill Cosby at the Chateau Marmont above taken by the actor Dennis Hopper.
Hopper was also responsible for the outrageously sexy photo of painter Ed Ruscha in 1964 Los Angeles.
There was also an unexpected photo of William Faulkner with dogs by none other than Henri Cartier-Bresson.
The prize for strangest cultural hybrid is the photo above of the Argentinian genius writer Jose Luis Borges in New York's Central Park in 1969 by the queen of weirdness, Diane Arbus.