Up Close: Photographs of Candid Intimacy

Up Close: Photographs of Candid Intimacy

Up Close is a collection of photographs on exhibition at Australia’s Heide Museum of Modern Art, featuring the exceptional talent of four photographers whose images capture people, places and events with candid intimacy.  Up Close traces the significant legacy of Australian photographer Carol Jerrems (1949–1980) alongside that of contemporary artists Larry Clark (USA), Nan Goldin (USA) and William Yang (Sydney).  The collection takes its inspiration from the way each artist candidly depicts a social milieu and urban life of the 1970s and early 1980s.  Sharing an interest in sub-cultural groups and individuals on the margins of society, each artist reveals a remarkable capacity to provide an empathetic glimpse into semi-private worlds through intimate depictions of people and their surroundings.

Jerrems’ photography was associated with a feminist and political imperative, a preoccupation with  subcultures, forgotten and dispossessed groups, especially Aboriginal communities of the time.  Larry Clark unflinchingly turned the camera onto himself and his amphetamine-shooting coterie to produce Tulsa (1971), a series of photographs repeatedly cited for its raw depiction of marginalized youth.  With its grainy shot-from-the-hip style, Tulsa exposes a world of sex, death, violence, anxiety and boredom capturing the aimlessness and ennui of teenagers.

Larry Clark’s work influenced Nan Goldin and a whole generation of artists who aspired to break with the more traditional documentary modes.  Mining the emotional depths of her friends, lovers and family, Goldin’s work reveals a riveting intimacy while  uncovering the bohemian life of New York’s Lower East Side.  Goldin says, “I was documenting my life.  It comes directly from the snapshot, which is always about love.”

William Yang’s photographs from the 1970s further the snapshot aesthetic through journeying into the intimate world of his particular social milieu: drag queens, Sydney gay and inner-city culture.  Yang’s direct, unpretentious photographs provide a unique chronicle of marginalised groups especially as he put it: “…people who are gay, who were invisible, who were too scared to come out.  During gay liberation people became visible, people became politicized, and there was a Mardi Gras that was a symbol of the movement.”

Girl in a Mirror: A Portrait of Carol Jerrems

Tulsa: The Photography of Larry Clark

Slide Show: Up Close/Photographs of Candid Intimacy

(Please Click Image to View Slide Show)

Please Share This:

Share

%d bloggers like this: