Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Christine Acebo: Going meta at the Met
"Why," Christine Acebo, All rights reserved
My good friend, the talented photographer Christine Acebo (*CA* on Flickr), recently sold two pictures of people looking at pictures at the Met to -- guess who? -- the Met, which in turn will use the picture in ads touting the fun & sophistication of looking at pictures (at the Met).
"Sculpture," Christine Acebo, All rights reserved
This was the one the Met wanted originally but couldn't take because Christine failed to get a model release. BTW I was standing about 2 feet away when she made this one. I only noticed it when Christine quickly raised her Nikon, snapped once, maybe twice, before calmly continuing our conversation. It was a matter of seconds, as though she'd turned her head politely away to cough, then turned back, "Excuse me, where were we?"
"Untitled," Christine Acebo, All rights reserved
But the Met's photo researcher -- bless her -- didn't just give up. She went back & found this one -- the blazing red of a happy child in a beige, tired world of grownups -- on Christine's Flickr page (see her Museum set here). The Met's retouchers will blur the girl's face a little to ensure it can't be recognized. The other picture they bought (top of this post) has no faces to worry about.
Christine deserves wider recognition even though she claims to be serenely unconcerned about it (she's committed to her full-time, well-paid job as a scientist). She has more than enough material for a show & believe me, I don't say that because she's my friend. Her NYC pictures, for example, combine a quick, sympathetic eye with masterful post-processing -- she feels no compunction to match reality & uses lots of layers & filters to create her own intensified moments (here's her latest set from NYC ). When she moves away from people -- away from her affectionate, often funny scrumptious snapshot mode -- the pictures can be somberly romantic, sometimes lonely. But all have an absolute certainty of tone that is instantly recognizable.
This is what is known as a style.