Saturday, January 19, 2013

Beat Memories. The Photographs of Allen Ginsberg

Saw this show Beat Memories. The Photographs of Allen Ginsberg at the Grey Art Gallery yesterday. I enjoyed it, even though I prefer looking at photographs up close in books than on the walls of museums and galleries. That said I would never not see a photography show because of that preference. The exhibition is made up of many now very familiar snapshots of the famous beats, and I really don't understand Ken Johnson's kvetching about the show in yesterday's New York Times. He complains that they are just snapshots and that they are too tame and don't really capture the "bohemian lifestyles" that they were leading. I don't agree. They are lovely images, and as I said they started out as snapshots and if they have now been elevated to archive and museum status that's not the fault of the snaps. Maybe Ginsberg's notations in his own hand on the photos can be seen as a little too coy and precious by some, but so what. And while you're there be sure to pick up one of the handsome brochures that opens up to reveal the wonderful photo (snapshot) of Neal Cassady with one of his girlfriends in front of a San Francisco movie theatre in 1955 that now adorns the side of my refrigerator.


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