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I'm an NYC-based director, and this is an outlet for my various musings about theater and about the city of New York. Sometimes the subjects run together, sometimes they are entirely separate, but between the two they comprise the most fitful, most intense, most trying love affair of my few years. They fill my head, my heart, my mouth every hour of every day; they could fill a book.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

That's Art For You (Richard Avedon, and Failure)

On Sunday afternoon a friend and I traveled out on a whim to the Nassau County Museum of Art. The museum is currently displaying the work of photographer Richard Avedon, much of which quite lovely and striking.

One particularly lovely and striking piece was this photograph:

Which, I think you'll agree, is pretty awesome.

Except that there was also a video presentation that provided information on Avedon's life and work. My friend and I happened to catch a portion of the video in which Avedon was recorded talking about this photograph:

"Every time I look at the photo," he said (I'm paraphrasing), "I don't know why I didn't pull the sash all the way out to the left to complete the line.

Because of that sash, to me, this photo will always be a failure."

To me, this photo will always be a failure. That's art for you, isn't it? You can create something as distinctive and beautiful as this picture is, and yet every time you look at it, to you, it's a failure.


(Oh, and, parenthetically -- the museum also featured a sculpture and photography exhibit by Robert Hite called "Imagined Histories," which had me completely capitivated - so creepy and haunting, like a memory from a childhood dream.)

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