Monday, July 12, 2010

Robert Bergman Exhibit at Minneapolis Institute of Art

I visited Minneapolis recently and saw the Minneapolis Institute of  Art for the first time.  I must say I didn't have time to visit every single collection so I hopped around and went to the things I knew I'd enjoy and appreciate most.  One of the most astonishing finds was the Robert Bergman Exhibit of large color photo portraits.  The exhibit blew me away and I think I spent easily an hour just looking and gazing and trying to see into the souls of these beautiful, ordinary, haggard grizzled people that were portrayed on the walls.  In many ways the photo portraits were like paintings.  The colors were soft and muted, the skin tones blended and lit from within.  Textures of clothing and buildings framed the people, many of whom were perhaps not the usual choice of portrait artists.  I felt transported trying to imagine the lives these people led and the ways that life had perhaps ground them down and spit them out and yet here there were portrayed with dignity, courage and beauty. I can't really choose a favorite, but instead encourage you to look at the exhibit yourself or follow some of the links here to learn more about Robert Bergman.  He was new to me although he's been shooting photos for a long time.  Here is a quote from an article about him and his thoughts on his process and portrait making:
You don’t want the photograph to be an escape and I don’t want to sentimentalize. I don’t want to objectify or deny emotion and I don’t want the photograph to document anything except if subliminally we may find out that they document a climate of our times but it wasn’t an intent. The last thing I want them to document is the artist’s intention.
For more check out the article or visit the exhibit! Here is an NPR article and story to listen to as well.

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