Documentary Photography: Week 1
I went to the David Zwirner Gallery to see their exhibit on Roy DeCarava.
I was disappointed.
For every compelling image, there were several that felt like "snapshots" and hollow. My underwhelmed feeling was a result of too many photos. DeCarava's diluted brilliance made him appear as an average photographer.
As I progressed through the exhibit, I swung from "wow!" to "eh, I guess." The mediocre photos pulled my attention from the intimacy he captured in his work.
I once read the best way for a photographer to create a portfolio was to have a unifying idea and not overwhelm the viewer with images outside the scope. Having a theme brings clarity and confidence to the collection. There’s was at best, a muddled vision for this exhibit.
It’s a shame this retrospective didn’t show DeCarava at his best because his style, agenda, and perspective were paramount to photography's acceptance as an art form.