Where to Go and What to See

~Miki Johnson

(Warning: I'm about to make a generalized, slightly hyperbolic statement that I have only highly unscientific evidence to support.) If there is one single element of good photography I think has suffered most from the digital revolution, it is composition. NOT that you can't make exquisitely composed digital images...but the medium itself seems to engender speed and the relatively low "value" of each image urges photographers to make several images now and find the right composition later. Yet I think that beautiful composition is the one consistent characteristic in the images I most enjoy. Not least of all those from Barbara Crane's Neon Series going up at Higher Pictures December 12. These carefully composed images of people screened by the street's reflected neon signs are beautiful and confusing and mysterious. And Crane's other work (which I was unfamiliar with before) is equally meticulous--even her purposefully un-composed collages of pigeon's in flight.

Anyway, I'm looking forward to seeing the show, as well as getting a glimpse at Philip-Lorca diCorcia's new retrospective-ish book, Thousand, at a presentation at David Zwirner December 12. I haven't received a review copy yet (*cough cough*) but it looks/sounds intriguing. And if I was in L.A., I'd be heading over to M+B for the Alison Jackson show December 15. Jackson's witty photographs use doppelgangers of famous people (and in this case the president) to recreate "paparazzi" shots much more shocking than the grist of today's burgeoning celebrity mill. I initially reacted badly to the camp of these photos, but they've grown on me, and I now find them genuinely funny (rarer than you might think) and also fundamentally unsettling (which, it seems, I'm into).

~Miki Johnson

(Photo: © Barbara Crane, Neon Series (woman wearing large sunglasses)/Courtesy Higher Pictures)