Sunday, June 7, 2009

Stephen Shore & Katy Grannan

The June/July, 2009, issue of Details contains a couple of interesting photographs. Stephen Shore shot a fashion spread and Katy Grannan produced the creepiest portrait I've seen in a long time. The mag also runs a Martin Parr photo about a half-page but I'm not reproducing it here. Shore and Grannan got their mug shot on the Contributors page.

The Shore piece is 8 pages, which actually feels short. Not that it's great shoot--it's good--but it feels like it's only getting started when you're on to the next article. (The shortness of the piece is probably a result of the mag overall being so thin.) It does have one of his Uncommon Places-type tabletop-after-dinner shots. Truth is, he shoots fashion fairly often for Elle and W these days. You can see some more of his commercial work here on the photo-rep Bill Charles' website. And while you're there, check out who else Charles represents. It's quite a long list of respected "art" photogs.

I've tried to run this Katy Grannan portrait as large as possible but you should really go to the magazine itself to see the image. It is chilling. Now, true, the guy is an assassin who has killed numerous people on behalf of Mexican drug lords but it verges on grotesque. (Grannan was one of the Another Girl, Another Planet artists and the photographer as author of Dream America and Model American.) (If you can't figure out what makes this so odd and you can't find an issue of Details, let me know and I'll spell it out.)

Everyone seems to be shooting commercial work these days. I suppose art doesn't pay nearly what one might think, given it's cache in our culture, and given that same cache, the fashion magazines have been drawing as many "art" photogs into the fold as possible. Besides, I'll bet it's fun to shoot fashion. Shore in fact, even shoots weddings. Academia must not pay very well either.

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