Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Stephen Shore: Uncommon Places

Stephen Shore grew up in downtown New York. One day, he and a friend decided to drive to Amarillo, Texas and get out of the big city for a spell. Uncommon Places is a result of that trip. Although I'm not a huge fan of landscape photography, I enjoyed viewing what Shore thought was "uncommon" (the name of his book), as I grew up in rural and smalltown America and found many of the photos "commonplace." That is no disrespect to the artist, however. I find him incredibly compelling as an artist and a person.
What I find intriguing is that Shore reconnects one with those images from their past and also invites the viewer to see their smalltown landscape from a new, invigorating lens. The photos of small towns, diners, beaches, and movie theatres brought me to a place where I wondered "What is Common?" "What is Uncommon?" To Stephen, that would be my reality. He would find me and my reality, uncommon. Wow. Never considered that before. I, no doubt, would find his the same.
Shore is famous for winning critical acclaim when he was twenty-three, photographing Andy Warhol's Factory, the temple of underground art in the sixties.
Uncommon Places is a selection of forty-nine photographs taken between 1973 and 1981.

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