Saturday, October 13, 2012

Celia Cruz Portrait by Robert Weingarten

Where: American History Museum

When: through October 30, 2012

Hooray!  Another photograph by Robert Weingarten.  This one is on display at the American History Museum, rather than with the show at the Ripley, but I was delighted with it all the same.  Even though I know nothing about Celia Cruz, I'm so taken with Weingarten's work that it really doesn't matter.

This photograph is very colorful, as you can see from the picture above; vivid is probably a better description than colorful.  Apparently, the choice of Celia Cruz was made by an online vote (how did I not know about this?).  She was among several choices, all people who were well-represented by objects in the museum's collection.  The difference between this picture and the ones at the Ripley is that Weingarten didn't have a chance to interview her, so the public answered the question, "What makes Celia Cruz important?"  A word cloud was generated by the answers and Weingarten worked from that.  Included in the display case were objects from the museum's collection that are featured in the picture.

I've always thought the Ripley was an awkward and unpleasant space for a show, but I now see its advantages.  The glare from the sun reflected off the display case and made it hard to see the photograph clearly - not a problem at the Ripley, with its subterranean location!

Verdict: I'm such a fan of Weingarten that I'm going to recommend anything that features his work.  It's only one photograph, so you can easily see it on your way to see something else in the museum.

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