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Actress Jessica Lange’s career spans more than 30 years and 30 films; the winner of two Academy awards, the one-time waitress is one of the most acclaimed performers of both the screen and the stage, as well as one of the most recognizable faces. 50 ...
Actress Jessica Lange’s career spans more than 30 years and 30 films; the winner of two Academy awards, the one-time waitress is one of the most acclaimed performers of both the screen and the stage, as well as one of the most recognizable faces. 50 Photographs, however, finds Lange on the other side of the camera.
Originally drawn to the medium simply as a way to document the lives and growth of her children, Lange has now been photographing on and off for 15 years, approaching the art as an antidote to the constant fervor of Hollywood. “It is a way of working,” she says of her process, “that is the opposite of acting. Photography doesn’t depend on collaboration; it can be solitary and private.” A 2007 feature in Aperture, introduced by Mary Ellen Mark, gave the world its first taste of Lange’s visual work; now, 50 Photographs gathers her impressive portfolio, featuring images from Mexico, Africa, Romania, Russia, Finland, Italy, and France as well as the U.S., into her first-ever photography monograph. Alternately comforting and disquieting, Lange’s striking black-and-whites possess a kind of moody mystery that is appropriately cinematic.
Posted May 25, 2009
Jessica Lange, one of this country's most daring, sensitive and subtle actresses, is first and foremost an artist's artist. In keeping with her ability to find the micro corners of the characters she explores and brings to life on stage and screen Lange approaches her intuitive vision and observations of the world in a similar manner in an important hobby - photography. Begun as a means to document the growth of her family Lange has extended her interest in observing the human phenomenon and the neglected spaces on the planet in her decision to carry her camera to the various locations throughout the world, gathering these fifty photographs here published without the usual ballyhoo that accompanies a 'star's project'.
Lange elects to use a fast film and prefers available light as opposed to the staginess of flash and reflectors so important in her acting episodes. And in selecting this combination of factors she is able to capture dramatic moments which ring of melancholy, privacy, solitude, and acts that appear spontaneous and quite without audience. All of the photographs in this moody monograph are in black and white and each of the fifty selections is beautifully composed and respectfully frozen in time by an artist whose hallmark has always been understatement.
Multiple viewings of this collection of works only serve to solidify Jessica Lange's importance as an artist of the camera. There is so much more in this series of quiet images that a single glance can retain. This is a beautiful body of work by a very gifted artist. Grady Harp
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