Since the advent of “street photography” in the early 20th century, this genre has become a mainstay of modern and contemporary art and culture, and one of its most fascinating. I’ve had the opportunity to visit many a street photography exhibit over the years and it’s a challenge to pull the good ones off successfully. Some personal favorites of mine include: Daido Moriyama at the Met in NY, Richard Gordon at the Corcoran, Open City at the Hirshhorn, and Lewis Baltz at the National Gallery of Art.
I Spy: Photography and the Theater of the Street, 1938–2010 which opened at the National Gallery of Art this past Sunday gets ambitious by exhibiting photography from a long arc spanning over 70 years. I posted a few weeks ago about the importance of understanding photographic equipment/process and how it impacts what is photographed, as well as the resulting image. I would again urge keeping this in mind when viewing this exhibit. Also before going, I would urge you to read the excellent 50-page digital brochure that has been created and is free to download from the website! Thank you NGA for putting this online!
Equally compelling, although not found in DC, are street photographs by Chris Arnade online at Flickr. I don’t remember how I first got exposed to his photography, but I keep going back and absorbing the faces he captures, the untold stories of which we only get a glimpse.
Enjoy both these opportunities to view street photography this summer. I Spy runs from April 22 – August 5, 2012 and Chris Arnade can be found indefinitely online.