Celebrating 50 years of captured moments by internationally acclaimed photographers from polar ends of the globe, Minor Cropping May Occur presents the gritty, stark (-naked quite often) side of photography that has excited and informed generations.
Now open at the prestigious Lombard Freid Projects in New York, the exhibition has a stellar lineup, including i-D contributors Nick Haymes (co-curator of the show), Takashi Homma and Walter Pfeiffer. Culturally and historically diverse, the photographers’ backgrounds range from Japan to the USA; Israel to Denmark with the photos dating from 1962 to present. Despite their seemingly disparate histories, the photographers share an innocence of spirit and a raw approach, connecting with their subjects above their subject matter. From Keizo Kitajima’s documentation of postwar Japan, to Mike Brodie’s Polaroid images of American youth, to Walter Pfeiffer’s vintage prints from the 1970s, the show is a rare opportunity to see iconic and emerging works side by side. Uncontrived and often formed from personal experiences, the images are the kind of things you can’t achieve in a studio with bright lights and a beautiful face. Rather, they are moments that capture a feeling, a reaction, a joke; moments that have passed, but can reignite on a gallery wall.
i-D Online found a few moments with co-curator and photographer Nick Haymes, and co-curator and gallery owner Lea Freid to learn more.
In your opinion, was photography better in 1962, or now? Photography now is just as important, if not more than it was in 1962. There are obvious changes in how photography is used with the onset of digital media, but I hold it all as equal importance.
Which other photographers in the show do you most admire? I am in admiration of them all, as they all have their own distinct style, and have unfalteringly continued to follow in their vision. No matter what the current “photo trend” tends to be they have stayed true to their works. As I myself chose their works it’s very hard to pick a favourite. Everything on the gallery wall I would love to hang in my own home. Unfortunately I can’t afford it all!
The photographers exhibiting (yourself included) are known for their unafraid, uncontrived approach. Do you think fashion photography now has lost this innocence? This one is a tough one. There are certain photographers I greatly admire who can use fashion photography as a means of personal expression, but in general, yes I think fashion photography has lost an essence of what it used to be; everyone complains about this but nobody is helping the situation. It’s a problem when everyone spends all their time looking at a monitor, rather than the photographer spending time with the camera and his subject. If everyone is sat at the monitor airing their opinion, how can a new photographer really find his way. There are no errors these days, but the accidents that used to happen created some of the most beautiful images.
Who is the most charismatic person you’ve ever photographed? I photographed Daphne Guinness last year and she was the kindest person I have photographed for a while. She has a knowledge of photography, and is a very willing subject. She offers herself with a great trust for the photographer and what he wants to do, something I find very brave and admirable.
How did you select the photographers? After innumerable conversations regarding the challenge I was having discovering new photographic talent that would be relevant to Lombard-Freid, Nick shared a number of books with me of photographers who he thought I should be paying attention to. The end result of my tutorial was “minor cropping may occur.” Surprisingly to me, there is still quite a large gap between the photography world and the contemporary art world. The exhibition attempts to showcase photographers who utilise the medium of photography to explore a real life narrative, without necessarily using the objectivity of pure documentary.
The photographers are from all over the world, across five decades, do they all share a common aesthetic? How does it translate to the modern eye? The works featured, although quite personal, speak to the modern viewer through their immediacy. The photographers in the exhibition do not make work for the viewer necessarily, or create a concept for a series to explore, they rather make work that explores the relationship between themselves as photographer and their subject.
Why did you call the show ‘minor cropping may occur’? Nick used this technical statement at one point as a way to describe a reaction to photography that was more staged, contrived, or manipulated. Using the statement somehow fit as quite poetic.
Minor Cropping May Occur (selected diaries 1962-2011) at Lombard-Freid Projects runs from February 17th – March 19th, 2011.