New York Photo Review
from the NYPR Archives

Making Caribbean Dance by Susanna Sloat
The Genetic Wars by Barbara Confino
Soho Photo Gallery
Central Booking Magazine

The Celebrity Photograph
Lynn Goldsmith
Lynn Goldsmith at The Bowery
Keith Richards by Lynn Goldsmith. Source: morrisonhotelgallery.com
Lynn Goldsmith, "Bruce Silversteen, New Jersey, 1978"

There’s nothing like knowing famous people. In fact, visual name-dropping has become so common in galleries these days, it almost constitutes a genre of its own. The celebrity photograph.

A latter-day incarnation of religious iconography, celebrity photography gives us images we can adore. From Julia Cameron Mead’s desire to capture the souls of great men to Andy Warhol’s Polaroids of the Beautiful People, photographers have always been caught up in the worship of the great, the powerful, and the merely attractive.

For the sociologist and psychologist this kind of imagery presents a treasure trove for research, a veritable bonanza of contradictory impulses of a most fundamental kind. Yearning, envy, viciousness along with sheer dumb hero worship top the list. We cannot get enough of these vicarious lives. We gloat in their misfortunes while worshipping their status, admiring the perfection of their clothes while lamenting the imperfections of their characters.

 by unidentified photographer.
Lynn Goldsmith “Bob Dylan, New York City, 1983”

And so we come to the plethora of photo shows this season that participate in these rites of adoration, some distant and formal, others granting us the illusion of intimacy. In this time of Reality Shows the preferred form is candid, offhand, even awkward, thereby allowing us nobodies the illusion of familiarity with those who live lives not remotely like our own.

In her mixed bag of a show at the Morrison Hotel Gallery, Lynn Goldsmith gives us a good sampling of who’s on her iPhone. Mostly pop and rock stars.

Generally caught in generic, black and white, her starry acquaintances shine by virtue of who they are, not how they are photographed. Unlike her contemporary, Annie Liebowitz, who pursues some of the same subject matter, Goldsmith snaps her subjects much the way anyone with a camera would do.

One or two images stand out as interesting in themselves: the photograph of Bruce Springsteen in New Jersey surrounded by hubcaps and that of Bob Dylan staring angrily off-screen, his reflection caught in a shop window. But overall these pictures are yet another sop to our bottomless addiction to stargazing, the recent orgy of wedding-mania a case in point.

From the pursuit of pleasure to the descent into decay, we just love the mess they make of their lives, deflecting for a moment the banalities of our own.

Lynn Goldsmith
Lynn Goldsmith at The Bowery


Morrison Hotel Gallery - Bowery
313 Bowery
Lower Manhattan - East         Map

212 941 9770
morrisonhotelgallery.com

Sunday, April 24 to
Sunday, May 15, 2011
Hours: Thurs-Sun, 12 to 7
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The Genetic Wars by Barbara Confino
Making Caribbean Dance by Susanna Sloat
Central Booking Magazine
Soho Photo Gallery