The Final Days of Digital Darkroom

The last day to see Digital Darkroom is May 28 (Memorial Day!) and that date is right around the corner. Not only does that mean that those lovely street banners all over town will be coming down soon but so will the photographs currently hanging on the ASP gallery walls. Seems like the show just opened but in fact there are only a few mere weeks left to see the exhibit in person.

For those who have yet to experience Digital Darkroom, come for the first time and for those who have, drop by for a second or even third time! Pick up a pair of free 3D glasses and enjoy the 3D images on display; watch the original 30-minute documentary film in beautiful 4K resolution; See the 14-minute 3D film in our special screening room; Most of all, come immerse yourself in the astounding worlds created by the 17 artists and photographers.

Bob Gruen on Debbie Harry

Max’s Kansas City was opened by Mickey Ruskin on Park Avenue in New York City in the 1960’s.  It soon became a hangout for artists, including Andy Warhol, whose studio was nearby, and Debbie Harry, who worked as a waitress at the club. In the early 1970's Mickey left and Tommy Dean reopened Max’s as a hangout for rock & roll bands and their followers. Blondie played there - often opening for the New York Dolls and later as headliners. 

This photo of mine shows Debbie Harry, lead singer of Blondie, at Max’s in July 1976.  Debbie recently told me she made the dress herself from a pillow case she found on the street. The somewhat military-like hat she’s wearing in this photo was meant to dramatize a song with some German lyrics that she sang in a Marlene Dietrich-like style.

See this image and more in Who Shot Rock & Roll: The Film, part of the Who Shot Rock & Roll photography exhibit running at the Annenberg Space for Photography now through October 7, 2012.

Photo: © Bob Gruen. Debbie Harry at Max's Kansas City in New York, NY, 1976.

Watch The 'No Strangers' Video Teaser

We've just extended the exhibit run for Who Shot Rock & Roll and, at the same time, are also prepping for the opening of our next show, no strangers: Ancient Wisdom in a Modern World. The exhibit is about the wonder of culture and the plight of indigenous people throughout the world and opens on November 17, 2012. Watch the video teaser above to get a sense of what to expect from this important show.

Chris Rainier: Photography is the 'Role of Postcards to the Future'

Here's an exclusive video interview with No Strangers featured photographer Chris Rainier. In the clip, the lensman talks about his passion saying: "My philosophy is to use photography as an art form and also as a social tool to celebrate culture."

Watch a previsouly posted exclusive video interview with fellow featured photographer, Steve McCurry, here.

In Focus: Jerry Uelsmann

Decades before the advent of Photoshop, Jerry Uelsmann was already creating an impressive and groundbreaking collection of photographic work. His darkroom-developed images combining multiple negatives would ultimately lead to a revolution of mid-20th century photography and a career that spans five decades. His black and white images are part of the Annenberg Space for Photography’s current exhibition, Digital Darkroom. We are thrilled to have Uelsmann as one of our featured artists and excited to learn what the “forefather” of manipulated photography may be up to next.

Born in Detroit in 1934, Uelsmann developed an interest in photography as a teenager.  After receiving his MFA from Indiana University, he began teaching photography at the University of Florida in 1960. It was during this decade that other photographers would evaluate his work of combining unrelated negatives into imaginary and fantastical scenes as not being true photography. Uelsmann says “I would show my work to other photographers, they’d always say, ‘Well, this is interesting, but this is not photography.’ I’d buy the same cameras, spend hours in the darkroom, but somehow they were locked in to the sort of documentary, camera-conceived imagery tradition, which still dominates photography.”

A major break for Uelsmann occurred in 1967, when his images were exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.  His collection of work, that just a few years earlier had been criticized, was now viewed by a dedicated faction as avant-garde and boundary breaking. “It was like being blessed by the Pope,” he later joked about the experience. Uelsmann would continue to defy and challenge tradition over the following decades leading to a retrospective of his work with the publication of “The Mind’s Eye” encompassing fifty years of his photography.

Despite the readily accessible digital photography programs such as Photoshop, Uelsmann has no interest in changing his work routine, even now at 77 years old. When recently asked why he continues to work in the darkroom, rather than transition to digital he said, “I fell in love with the alchemy of the photographic process and to this day, watching that print come up in the developer is magic for me. I still find it a wonderful, challenging experience.”

Learn more about master craftsman Jerry Uelsmann with a visit to the Annenberg Space for Photography. You can catch his surreal images along with the work of our additional sixteen featured artists in Digital Darkroom now through May 28th.

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