Stayed Too Long at the Fair

By: pbcmedia

Aug 12 2009

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Category: Art, Contemporary Art


Focal Length:35mm
Shutter:1/0 sec
Camera:Canon EOS 5D

This is my Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston.  I’ve been wanting to use this wall in a post for the longest time.

The museum is directly across inner Boston Harbor from Logan Airport.  Ferries to Provincetown and Harbor cruises are one block down.

The Shepard Fairey “Supply and Demand” exhibit is finally leaving this month.  I was not a fan but I was in the minority. The rest of the world, fueled by the controversy over his Obama poster (acknowledged by the artist to be made from a photograph in Newsweek) AND getting arrested by the Boston police on the way to his opening at the ICA for past warrants on his “street” art in Boston, drove crowds into the exhibit and they held it over for three months!  The exhibit was here from early February to August 17th.

C’mon.  That’s a long time for a contemporary art museum.  He’s also been commissioned to do a mural for the ICA and I’m afraid it’s going to go in this spot in the foyer.  You can go and check out his work on the link above.  Maybe you dig him.  Ok.  I’ll still love you in the morning but we don’t have to talk about it, Ok?

I tried to give him a fair shake.  I went twice.  I think his posters for rock stars and other famous folk were shiny and if I were a rock artist, I’d want him to do my concert art.  That’s the best I can do.

So, “Goodbye, Shepard, ol’boy.”

I know you were only 38 years old when your exhibit opened in February but you seem like an old, old man with a blue striped shirt when it closes on the 16th of August.

Or, is that just how I feel?

Roll your suitcase to the door and hail a cab to Logan and take your gigundo collages with you.

Hello, something new.  Finally.

Just like me taking photos with grown-ups in them.

Grown-ups that were originally shot exiting a train in South Station but looked better here in front of my ICA foyer installation for purposes of this narrative and, well, just to show that I’m not against artists having tricks and making purists mad.   But, do these tricks have to be on display for six months in one of my favorite places?

Perhaps, if someone could just sue me for using my own photograph in another one of my own photographs, my career might get a jump start at 64 years of age.

©Pat Coakley 2009


**For my flower lovers out there, every day I post a new photo complete with photo tip on my new blog, Singular Sensation.  For right now, I am learning to be shoot PEOPLE photos and they’ll be displayed on this blog, for better or worse.

17 comments on “Stayed Too Long at the Fair”

  1. Excellent image from Boston.

  2. I think if I lived in Boston I’d stare at that wall all day long. Just too cool.

    • I totally agree, dragonmage06, but you better get here soon cuz I think it’s going to make way for Fairey’s commission soon.

  3. People is photos provide not only a point of interest but also an historical context. If the photo above didn’t have the man in it, it would merely be a recording of someone else’s artwork.

    The man in the photo adds so much to the shot. He provokes all sort of questions and starts a dialogue by just being there.

    • Razz, your comment reminds me that I should make the effort to find out the name of this artist and post it with this entry. You are right. I’ve had the photo for months but on its own it was not appropriate for the blog. I’m a real chicken with the people thing so far.

      People’s backs? Pathetic, I know. But, I’m going to try and improve while you are in Europe! I’ll be on my own adventure but it won’t require a passport.

    • Forgot to say…Razz, I’ve never really thought about the “dialogue” factor and, yet, it is the perfect word, isn’t it? Beyond this photo, this concept will be one I think about in my new venture.

  4. I like the all those windows/mirrors (?) on the wall: it’s eye catching; it’s a photo op; it’s photogenic.
    I agree with razz: with nobody in this one, it’s just a bunch of stain glass windows sitting separately.

    • PR, I told my nine year old nephew– when he mentioned something about Japan being very very far from Boston.. about all 6 foot four you living in Japan, a giant in the narrowest mini-van I’ve ever seen. He asked, “Does he have to drive with his head out through the sunroof?”

      Oh, please…make an illustration of that, would ya??

  5. This makes me wonder where this guy is heading. Maybe he knows that one of those windows is the magic mirror and he can just walk right through.
    People in an image (painting or photo) can help clarify its narrative or strengthen its emotional impact. While it is also satisfying to elicit that emotional response without adding a figure, that’s no reason not to stretch the skills of figurative art.
    I like the colored windows better than Mr. Fairey’s art, which seems a bit commercial/pop for my long term enjoyment.

    • Don, your comment is a good example of the possible “dialogue” that Razz referred to and that people can clarify a narrative just as I may use light or motion or something else. This is one of the reasons I love this blog! I learn stuff…Sometimes, very important “stuff”.

  6. Pat

    Don’t be so hard on yourself.

    The fact that the guy has his back to you communicates something which would be different if he was facing you. With his back to you, he’s either looking at the art or walking by and ignoring it. If he was facing you, he’d have his back to the art and that would be such a different message.

    All images are communication.

    • Razz, now, that it is pointed out, I just am amazed at this whole narrative potential with this man. Good for me to keep in mind as I go forth into PeopleLand. I’m going to shoot with a 50mm at first…reminiscent, I think, of so many great photos with people that I admire from the past masters.

  7. this stimulates an irony of surrealism while it speaks contemporary art
    language to me and the figure is like a sculpted volume emerging in a dreamscape, he says so much so well from the back, in that pose, with the colors and reflections, a beautiful piece.
    pr machines had to be involved with that whole fairey episode, it really smelled of collusion or is it collision, at any rate, 99% of the time i dont agree with reviews finding them biased and suspect as driven by commerce issues and i agree with you on this, tho i happen to like the obama piece for its retro poster look, the rest were more than enough etc, but february to august is more than long enough to break the spell from the viewpoint of seeing eyes.

    • Tipota, I think you are right! There had to be some collusion or even better “collison”. One of these days we’ll have to meet at this museum or would it break the spell of blogdome? Seeing eyes, lovely.

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