Off the Wagon – Your Weekend Art Binge 5/31 – 6/03

Your weekend begins tonight!  Don’t worry: I’ve already worked everything out with your boss to get your weekend started early.  They may act a bit surprised (and maybe a little upset) when you return Monday.  However, rest assured – it’s only a ruse to prevent your workmates from becoming jealous.  You’re welcome.  Tonight, we’re headed to the FMoPA!

Cube at Rivergate, 2012 © Chip Weiner

Florida Museum of Photographic Arts – The Secret Paris of the 1930s: Vintage Photographs by Brassaï    5/31 6pm-8pm

The FMoPA brings the work of legendary photographer Brassaï, to Tampa tonight.  The museum opens its doors at 10am with an opening reception tonight beginning at 6pm.

I’m sufficiently excited to describe myself as “totally stoked” to see this exhibit .  Perhaps mostly because the photography of Brassaï operates as a starting line for a sort of gritty ultra-modern aesthetic that nearly always catches me off guard.  Brassaï’s gloomy urban landscapes seem to anticipate Film Noir that would flourish ten to fifteen years later after he first rose to fame.  It’s difficult to see Vienna depicted in the film The Third Man without Brassaï depicting Paris in his particular style fifteen years prior.

More important (and perhaps more recognizable) is Brassaï’s subject matter.  Photography at the time was still relatively new as an art form.  Leaving behind still-lifes and studios for bordellos and opium dens is significant.  His photos, at times, can be downright gritty, even by today’s standards.  In a strange way this always made his 1930’s Paris much more real to me, his subjects that much more relatable, and his work always relevant.  Brassaï’s Paris isn’t the Paris of silent films but rather marginalized individuals that are so familiar it’s eery.  Though nearly eighty years old, I’m sure you’ll find Brassai’s photography relevant in a way that’s rare even for contemporary work.  Make sure to stop by the FMoPA while the exhibit is in town.

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