Things to see and do: spring 2020
HAROLD FEINSTEIN. I’ve loved street photography and street photographers ever since seeing an unforgettable Garry Winogrand exhibition at The Hayward as a student. (Some other faves: Tony Ray Jones, Weegee, Jamel Shabazz, Saul Leiter.) I always want to know what happens immediately after the moment of capture. Do they move swiftly along? Say ‘thanks mate’? Or get into an altercation – ‘oi, what you taking my picture for?!’…
Harold Feinstein is undoubtedly one of the greats. His trick was getting right into the heart of the action and this is currently being celebrated in an exhibition at David Hill Gallery (aka Mr. DRG) in London’s Ladbroke Grove. Boardwalks, Beaches and Boulevards showcases Feinstein’s black and white photography of New York Life, including joyous teens in Coney Island and a remarkably cinematic café moment (above). If you’re near Portobello, check it out (until 24 April).
I also recently came across the work of Shane Taylor, whose Instagram @heroesforsale is full of fantastic London characters and vignettes. Every post is a surprise. He also does great Youtube videos and – coincidentally – talks about the Harold Feinstein exhibition here.
ANDY WARHOL. This week saw Andy Warhol open at Tate Modern (until 6 September). With some blockbusters I get a bit blasé. ‘What more could there possibly be to learn about X’, I wonder. Not with Warhol though. The art, the man, the lifestyle, the enigma, it’s all endlessly fascinating. Perhaps more so as we’re in the midst of the ‘famous for fifteen minutes’ era that he foresaw.
WILLI SMITH. A must-see in New York, Willi Smith: Street Couture is the first museum exhibition dedicated to 80s street wear pioneer, Willi Smith, who came to an untimely end due to AIDS related complications at the age of 39. Showing at the Smithsonian Design Museum from 13 March to 25 Oct., the exhibition is accompanied by a digital archive and is requesting stories, memories, photographs and ephemera to be uploaded. That’s how you do it! See more here.
ELECTRONIC. The Design Museum’s Electronic: From Kraftwerk to The Chemical Brothers exhibition (1April-26 July 2020) promises to be a multifaceted feast of sound and vision celebrating the people, design and technology of electronic music. Sounds like one of the Design Museum’s better exhibitions (they can be hit or miss) and we’re advised to allow plenty of time for full immersion. Coincidentally, I recently picked up An Individual Note of Music, Sound and Electronics to learn more about electronic music pioneer Daphne Oram who is featured in the show.
COSTUME AND FASHION. A couple of other books of note. Costume and Fashion (originally written by James Laver) has been updated. Fashion and dress historian, Professor Amy de la Haye has added a new chapter on the 21st century and I was happy to chip in with a couple of insights. (We first met on this heated SHOWstudio panel discussion last year.)
BROKEN GREEK. Lastly, Pete Paphides’ Broken Greek* memoir is getting rave reviews, mining his 80’s youth as a pop music obsessed Greek geek growing up in London. Can’t wait to dig in.
What’s on your see and do list this spring?
WORDS: Disneyrollergirl/Navaz Batliwalla
IMAGES: Harold Feinstein
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monique J Johnson
14 March, 2020 @ 5:03 pm
Oooh, I love Harold Feinstein. That top picture is awesome. I’m a big fan of Roy de Carava, Helen Levitt, Vivian Dorothy Maier, and many of those street photographers who shot in B&W. I even like Weegee a lot…. so deliciously lurid.
But you know what’s also super cool? Some of the great color street photos out of the 50’s and 60’s. I have some wonderful Fred Herzog photos. He’s a dude out of Vancouver whose use of black shadow is incredible. I especially love his father & daughter photos (I have 2). He’s in the William Eggleston school of photography, but not as well known.
Broken Greek sounds good!