Thursday, February 19, 2009

in the limelight

jeff wall

dead troops talk (a vision after an ambush of 
a red army patrol, near moqor, afghanistan, winter 1986)

this image is a particularly good example of wall's attention to detail because this is a staged war scene. 

milk, 1984

a sudden gust of wind (after hokusai) 1993

this is one of my most favorite pieces of his. it was the first image that i saw when i starting out as a photography student and it has suck with me. 

after "invisible man" by ralph ellison, the prologue

jeff wall is an influential photographer of the 20th century. his works grace the walls of the sf and ny momas. his work is very preconceived, planned and staged. certain images offer a glimpse into the complicated production such as after "invisible man" by ralph ellison, the prologue, where wall constructs "the basement room where ellison's unnamed black narrator inhabits a shabby, cluttered self-contained world exposed under a ceiling full of hundreds of bare light bulbs sucking power illegally from the municipal grid". (

other images are not as complicated, such as milk, 1984. in wall's own words, "the explosion of milk from its container takes a shape which is not really describable or characterizable, but which provokes many associations. a natural form, with its unpredictable contours, is an expression of infinitesimal metamorphoses of quality".  the splash of milk was just as intentional as the hanging of hundreds of light bulbs. that is what i love about his work, the intent. as well as the intellectual process behind each piece. 

i have seen some of his pieces at the sf moma and they are incredibly beautiful large format color photography pieces. i find myself staring at jeff wall's work for long periods of time so that i can really take in every detail.

No comments:

Post a Comment