Albert Watson: The Light Behind the Lens @ SCAD FASH Museum of Fashion + Film
There are portraits and there are moments in time. Albert Watson captured the latter, an instantaneous time-traveling, era-defining photographer who challenged the ways we looked at portraiture and fine art photography. Often, those ideas crossed over in his work. Sometimes, we have grown accustomed to Andy Warhol and Kate Moss as icons, so often posed and channeling a unique energy that is almost palpable to the senses. But the reasons we feel that way often have to do with the photographer, and Watson (who shot the two legendary figures and others for the likes TIME magazine, Rolling Stone, and Harper’s Bazaar and over 100 Vogue covers) conveys a sense of larger than life experimentation that transcends common fashion photography.
In what is a very long overdue survey, the Savannah College of Art and Design's FASH Museum of Fashion + Film presents Albert Watson: The Light Behind the Lens, Watson’s first solo U.S. museum exhibition. Seen as a whole, the more than 50 works showcase Watson's incredible and groundbreaking use of light and shadow, which was guided by his early studies in graphic design and film. Perhaps that is what has made Watson so unique, spoke of in the same breath as Avedon and others, is that he pushed the photography medium to new heights and possibilities. Watson once said that "Really good portraiture is a two-way street where someone is throwing little gems out and you're grabbing them." The irony is that Watson has spent a lifetime throwing those gems back at his subjects, and the harmonious relationship continues to thrive. —Evan Pricco