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Arts Blog

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Thoughts & Musings

Bruce Davidson & Sally Mann at Jackson Fine Art

Caitlin Zelinsky

Calling all photography lovers, vintage seekers, and Americana dreamers: This exhibit is for you! (And it ends in a month so go see it NOW) If you don't know these photographers, do your research before you go. From the Guggenheim to MOMA to Rolling Stones, Davidson and Mann have very extensive careers. In different ways, they have successfully painted a portrait of America from the 60s to well...now. 

I've never been to an exhibition where I left so elated and aggravated at the same time. Let me explain. Jackson Fine Art did a remarkable job handling Bruce Davidson's double exhibit. Leading with his IN COLOR series of his never-before-printed photos from his private archives, Davidson's photos talk of both city life and rural adventures. From images of kids in heavily graffitied train cars to women prepping themselves before a stage performance, it seems Davidson photographed the vibrant scenery around him. In THE BROOKLYN GANG series, Davidson opens up the closed doors of this private "gang". With greasers and high wasted skirts, this exhibit is chalk full of cigarettes, kissing, street ball, and a whole lota nostalgia.

Here's where the exhibition turns sour. I've come to the end of the gallery. Where is Sally Mann's exhibit? I even looked in the open storage room, hoping it was an extension to another part of the building. Turning around I went to ask the gallerists where her work was. I'm not going to fault them for being busy, carrying on conversations of what they think would sell and what would not, this is a place of business remember. But after waiting patiently for a few minutes, I politely interrupted and asked where her photos were. "Well, they are right in front of you!" In the "viewing room": a tiny, crowded room, with a cramped desk in the corner, 5 people talking shop with photos spread out on top of a large flat file spanning the width of the room, with Sally's photos hanging on the wall behind them. Let me tell you: Sally Mann is a force to be reckoned with! Google her. She's an American hero! (ok, she's an American hero in my book) but she is one of the top female photographers for her rural landscapes, intimate family portraits, and other amazing photos dealing with the issues surrounding life and death and AMERICA. Come on Jackson Fine Art, what happened!? I couldn't get close enough to see what photos were on view, and no one seemed to notice me straining to get a better look, so I left without a good look at any of her photographs. Scroll down to the last two photos in the exhibition and you'll see my frustration.