Saturday, February 11, 2012

Pre-Oscar Inspirations

Douglas signing his prints for the exhibit

Douglas Kirkland's special new exhibit for the Oscars (Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences), "Out of Character" opened today, Feb. 11 at the AMPAS's Grand Lobby Gallery.  One of the most prolific celebrity/movie-set photographers in the history of Hollywood, Douglas was commissioned by the Academy to photograph all 20 of the Best Actor, Actress, Supporting Actor and Supporting Actress nominees for this year's Oscar race.  Only three sets of the exhibition prints will be produced, with each nominee receiving a signed copy of their individual photos.  The images will also be featured in the Oscar Awards telecast this year.  The larger than life portraits will be on exhibit at the Academy’s headquarters at 8949 Wilshire Boulevard in Beverly Hills until March 18.  “Out of Character” will be open Tuesday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and weekends from noon to 6 p.m. Admission is free.  After the exhibition, one complete set of the large-format portraits will become part of the Academy’s Margaret Herrick Library photograph collection.

Douglas in the AMPAS Grand Gallery among his prints

Douglas' work has been a constant inspiration to my own portraiture work.  He is and always will be one of the great ones I look up to in both technique and artistry.  Please come and visit his new Oscar portraits if you can.

Here are some words of wisdom about photography, from some of the artists that inspire me:

"A photograph is usually looked at, seldom looked into."  --Ansel Adams

"There are always two people in every picture: the photographer and the viewer"  --Ansel Adams

"No photographer is as good as the simplest camera."  --Edward Steichen

"My portraits are more about me than they are about the people I photograph." --Richard Avedon

"I hate cameras.  They are so much more sure than I am about everything." --John Steinbeck

"People say photographs don't lie.  Mine do."  --David LaChapelle

"All photos are accurate.  None of them is the truth." --Richard Avedon

"I didn't want to tell the tree or weed what it was.  I wanted it to tell me something and through me express its meaning in nature."  --Wynn Bullock

"Photography deals exquisitely with appearances, but nothing is what it appears to be."  --Duane Michals

"Photography is truth.  Cinema is truth 24 times per second."  --Jean-Luc Godard

"Photography is a way of feeling, of touching, of loving..." --Aaron Siskind

"I take photographs with love, so I try to make them art objects.  But I make them for myself first and foremost - that is important."  --Jacques Henri Lartigue

"Of course its all luck!" --Henri Cartier-Bresson

"Look, I'm not an intellectual.  I just take pictures." --Helmut Newton

"I have discovered photography.  Now I can kill myself.  I have nothing else to learn."  --Pablo Picasso

I discovered this last quote from Facebook, so I do not know who to attribute it to:

"Life is like a camera... Focus on What's important... Capture the good times... Develop the negatives... and if things don't work out, just take another shot!"  --Anonymous

...great advice for Valentines Day.  Happy Valentines everyone!  Keep on doing what you love.

--Photo courtesy of Francoise Kirkland.

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