Objects of Affection
A natural disaster in Haiti, a man-made disaster on our southern coast, two wars and a troubled economy make this a time of great sorrow and uncertainty. Images of communities in rubble, birds and animals coated in oil, troops under fire-these are glimpses of the challenges that face our world, and remind us how vital photography is in our understanding of incomprehensible tragedies. But in bitter times we also need to focus on love, hope and connectivity, and photography can also bring us to that realm. In this spirit, PWP presents its latest exhibition, Objects of Affection opening July 28th at Calumet Photographic . It is a display of images that make us smile, laugh, and celebrate. From people to possessions, from places to passions, Objects of Affection is a gathering of all that brings us joy, and one of our most personal exhibits to date.
Exhibition Chair, Sindi Schorr said she “wanted to work on something that showed real emotion in a time when our lives are so stressed and overwhelmed by work and world events. I personally was aware of affection around me through family, friends and people I came in contact with daily and I wanted to capture that.€
Many of the photographers also chose to portray lovers and children, while others worked with actual objects, in traditional, arranged still life compositions. But as we see in our “What They Saw€ feature, just who did the arranging?
What They Saw
Love Is All Around
“I had been working on a project involving found objects – photographing one per week for 52 weeks. This was the 49th in the series and one of my favorites. Working on the series I began to feel that I was in a collaboration with unknown people who attractively arranged things and left them behind for me to photograph. On a cold, overcast day in December at Wave Hill while waiting for a predicted snowstorm to begin I noticed something red on a bench across the lawn. Walking closer I saw the bouquet of roses and the petals scattered on the ground. Circling the bench, deciding on how to photograph my latest find, there was no one around – the gardens were empty. When I started to walk away I noticed two couples approaching and decided to observe their reaction to the roses and the basket on the bench. It was then that I got the story behind the set-up and witnessed a marriage proposal. While the proposal was going on I talked to the friend and got the whole story: the two men had arranged everything while the woman friend and the proposee visited the gift shop, the men left the items arranged on the bench and had gone to bring the women back to the site. And she said YES!” –Trish Mayo
Wedding Couple Happy Tears
Andy Mars was one of the photographers who focused on lovers. She has photographed numerous weddings, including this intimate one at the Waldorf Astoria in 2009. “No guests attended,€ she said, “I was the witness. I love capturing candid moments like this. The picture pretty much tells the story along with the title Wedding Couple Happy Tears.
But Andy has also seen the darker side of wedding behavior. Attending a bridal sale at a major New York City department store, she saw women pushing and shoving to get at the bridal gowns, grabbing them off the racks, ripping off protective wrap, and leaping out of their street clothes on the floor of the store in a frenzy to secure the right dress for their special day.
- Katie Mantell, Exhibitions Director
- Catherine Kirkpatrick, Archives Director