The Guggenheim was doing some serious work today preparing for the next exhibit which opens on 10/24. Catherine Opie is up until January 7 but it is strange being in the Guggenheim and only being allowed to wander in the back rooms. You realize how much space the Guggenheim has without the major circular room.
The Catherine Opie exhibit is from work she began in 1990 to today. She is an incredible photographer. The images are crisp and clear. Also, the work is so vast. From architecture through out Bel Air and Beverly Hills to gay communities in Los Angeles and San Francisco and then surreal landscapes. Certainly a wide ranging artist.
Many of the images particularly the ones she has taken of the gay communities from tattoo artists to transgendered people and performances artists almost make the view uncomfortable. Yet, she is making a statement about gender that provokes thought as the photographs appear to be simple and honest like what you see is what you get.
The floor of black and white architectural images of different cities were so completely different than the other floors that I wasn't sure that we were still seeing Opie's photos but we were. They are beautiful. She captures a silent moment in urban landscapes.
There are also a multiple amount of political pieces. No doubt from the content she is very much anti-Bush.
My favorite was the floor with 2 large compositions. One is of a frozen tundra taken a many different angles showing the tiny ice houses that sit on the horizon. I believe there were about 7 large photos. On the other side of the wall is the other composition which is of surfers in Malibu waiting in the water for the next wave. Again, there about 7 large photos. The surfers are bobbing in moving water catching them as a community or solo. Intimate moments floating in time.
Opie appears to be shameless for who she is particularly in her self portraits. One where she is naked from the waist up breast feeding her child and another she where has literally carved pictures into her skin until she bleeds. Broad scope of work. In many ways defines how vast and different America is.