05 June 2011


At the Tate Modern I saw several shows over a few hours before heading by boat to the Tate Britain down the Thames. A Miro show which consisted of many political paintings done during the sixties. Although a big lover of this artist I wasn't crazy about many of these pieces which seemed too intellectual except for the very meticulous paintings done of his family home early in his career. There was a selection of Diane Arbus's photographs which always raise the hair at the end of my neck. Also lots of empty contemporary pieces which I won't even comment upon because what really got into my gut was a selection of portraits from a photo studio in Saida, Lebanon. I don't know at all why Akram Zaatari gets credit for these photos which were taken during the fifties in the photo studio except that he is a curator  in Beirut. He is another artist/curator who takes credit for other people's work but I guess in this case its because he found the negatives. However, I don't bring him up to quibble about this. The show is essentially a series of wonderful studio portraits of everyday people completely without pretense or artifice.

I was particularly moved by the following photos which I include below, as well as an explanation by the original photographer who ran the studio and took these pictures back in 1957. I see so much contemporary work which tries to deal with this subject of Abuse of Women, as political theme, in today's world but rarely does one see anything as powerful as these portraits.


  1. Overstatement is a bore, boor. If we are to be moved by truth we must find its presence and not substitute it by our thoughts via artifice.

  2. haunting...Tx