29 June 2008
I went and saw an exhibit of Paul Outerbridge’s work today at a local gallery. It was pretty fantastic– I must admit that I only had a passing familiarity with Outerbridge as one of the great early color photographers. These were later works, I guess you could say from his retirement period, and I believe were all 35mm snapshots on Kodachrome film, taken between 1950 and 1955. What was on display were digital prints made from either negatives or color slides, I don’t quite recall which.
My main point is that they were stunning– I can’t tell if I loved the composition, the color, or the subject matter more. The combination of 1950s hair, clothing, cars, and general ambiance with the bright bright blue skies and sunshine of SoCal was deeply alluring (I could have spent days and days staring at some of those prints!). Here’s one of my favorites:
Pretty amazing, right? I love the contrast between the rhythm and slant of the slats behind the model with her curvy posture. Also the depth of the color of that dress, and the way the textures of her skin and the satin work. The background is so flat and almost repellant in the sunlight, and one can almost fall into the folds of the satin by comparison.
You can see more of the exhibit over here.