Thursday, February 16, 2006

ART: Larry Sultan

I'd ran into Sultan's work at an exhibition at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) about a year ago and his portraits struck me. Admittedly, photogrpahy doesn't always blow my skirt up but there's something about staged portraiture that lights my fire. Alot of his original pieces, like the one seen above (courtesy of the Berkeley Art Museum, exhibition currently going on), he tried to capture the typical American suburban dweller in their natural habitat. He then moved on to a similar, but decidedly more striking subject.

Sultan dived into the suburban sets of the Southern California pornography industry, and the resulting images are an interesting dichotomy of pain and beauty. This series eventually was turned into a book called "The Valley" which I highly recommend.