Tag Archives: New York City

Joel Meyerowitz photography exhibition in Paris

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The photography exhibitions at the Maison Européenne de la Photographie in Paris are always very popular, drawing a crowd on weekends. The museum showcases works of photographers, famous or not, that allow you to see reality from different perspectives with a great diversity of styles. Such is the case of Joel Meyerowitz, whose retrospective is on show until April 7th. From the beginning of his career in the 1960s, this photographer documented the American way of life with a heavy European influence.

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The exhibition started with black and white images of New York City putting forth its raw energy.

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Joel Meyerowitz became officially linked to the history of New York City when, in the aftermath of the World Trade Center attacks, he was the only photographer allowed with unrestricted access to Ground Zero.

Joel Meyerowitz World Trade Center

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From the early 1960s, Joel Meyerowitz was an early advocate of color at a time when color photography was not considered a serious art. Doesn’t this seem hard to believe when the treatment of color actually is a form of art in itself?

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What I like in these pictures is that Meyerowitz does a sublime work on color and lighting on the most banal landscapes like Edward Hopper did in his paintings. The objects of the pictures are not exceptional, yet if you’ve ever gone on a road trip in the US, they remind you of the excitement you had while travelling towards a certain destination, the unexpected discoveries on the road, the feeling of being in an unknown place outside of your usual comfort zone, the meals in the most mundane places that end up having their dose of charm.

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Joel Meyerowitz street

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If you ever go to the Maison Européenne de la Photographie located in the Marais, be sure to go for a chic snack afterwards at the nearby L’Eclair de Génie. Also, you might enjoy my post on another exhibition that took place there, Karl Lagerfeld photography exhibition in Paris.

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A Brooklyn afternoon: cherry blossoms and Keith Haring graffitis

Last week I took the train to Prospect Park in Brooklyn to view the cherry blossoms at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, hoping to recapture a hint of my life experience in Japan. Sure enough, the Cherry Esplanade delivered its promise: bunches of pink cherry blossoms on the myriad of branches forming arches over the garden alleys; a rain of pastel petals whirling in the wind, dotting the field of grass.

Coincidentally I met my friend Carolyn from Ma Vie en Franglais there. We continued our tour of the garden together, wondering at the bright colors along the way. Don’t get me wrong, I hate gardening with a passion (I couldn’t even name the flowers pictured below) but if I need to relax, nothing’s better than a walk in a park.

Carolyn and I then made our way to the Brooklyn Museum to view the Keith Haring exhibition. One of the best-known American artists of the 20th century, Keith Haring was deeply inspired by graffiti. The exhibition focuses on the beginning of his career from 1978 to 1982, when his energetic street-art was ubiquitous throughout New York City.

A fixture of New York’s downtown culture, Haring befriended artists such as Jean-Michel Basquiat. New York was quite a different city at the time: gritty, with a somewhat dangerous and creatively bustling energy. The amazing soundtrack of the exhibition stays true to the period with bands like The B-52’s, Blondie, Talking Heads and The Clash; you can listen to the iTunes list on the exhibition’s page.

The highlight of the exhibition was this impressively long mural. Carolyn wondered if Haring had painted it according to a plan or if he had improvised little by little given how detailed it is.

Apart from the background music, I really loved Haring’s sense of humor and his way of mocking the consumer society. I was also impressed to see how detailed his work could be. Finally, this quote from Keith Haring struck me as wonderfully true on art: “I am interested in making art to be experienced and explored by as many individuals as possible with as many different individual ideas about the given piece with no final meaning attached. The viewer creates the reality, the meaning, the conception of the piece. I am merely a middleman trying to bring together ideas.

I hope you enjoyed this little tour in Brooklyn! Now tell me, how did you spend your own weekend?

You can read Carolyn’s great post about our afternoon right here on her blog Ma Vie en Franglais.

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