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In this article, I will examine an ongoing exhibition, After Photoshop, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The exhibition has been running since September 25th, last year and will be closed on May 27th this year. The sub-themes on this exhibition are as many as the photographs exhibited. However, the general theme is showing how creativity has led to manipulation of photography to create photographs, which appear to be true to the eyes and pass information on various issues that have affected or are affecting our lives.
After Photoshop is all about the current things we do as well as those we try to do. This exhibition is an addendum to an immediate past exhibition, which was titled Faking It: Manipulated Photography Before Photoshop. The exhibition is sponsored by Adobe. The photographs on the exhibition are all from the permanent section of the museum. The unifying factor in the photographs on this exhibition is the use of Photoshop software in enhancing their appeal. Apart from that, I also think the photographs reveal deep desires and/or fear that human beings experience.
In general, the photographs are amusing to look at and most of them have a great sense of humor in the manner they bring out some aspects in life. This exhibition is a witness to the changes that are taking place in photography. Each photograph on display speaks volumes to the viewers. Though the photos are not real, they depict the truth, which the human beings are trying to achieve or have already achieved.
Selected Appealing Examples
There are some photographs that I find quite appealing. One of them is titled 110 Junction. In this photo, a car is placed about 4 meters above a street and appears to be either in hot pursuit of another car not seen or pursued by other car/s that is/are not seen. This photo is dated 2010 and has been taken and manipulated using Photoshop software by Matthew Porter.
There are a number of things which I like about the ingenuity displayed in this photograph – 110 Junction. First, the artist must have taken time to find the correct place on the road that would accommodate this manipulation. As we know, cars do not fly, at whatever speed they might be, when the road is flat.
The flying action comes when a car at great speed is going over a hump. I also like the fact that this artist has gone for a very huge hump that beautifully displays proportionality with the height above the road that the car is flying. It would not have made any sense if the car had been placed at this height above a flat road or over a very small bump.
I greatly admire the angle at which the artist placed the car. It is right above the road moving in the correct direction as it could have if it was on the road. I find it humorous that the artist was not in the mood to violate traffic rules because, either intentionally or by chance, he took the original photograph when the green lights were on.
Another photograph I find extremely nice to view is an untitled photograph of a young girl with the eyes of a puppy. It is not easy to notice that the eyes are not hers. The artist who created this photograph, Rebenstein, was airing his views on the debate on interspecies tissues grafting.
This photograph speaks to us in volumes asking many questions. It helps us to imagine how it could be to harvest organs for human beings from animals. It raises ethical questions and springs up animals welfare feelings. The photograph is an open invitation for a discourse about the future of human cloning. It scares me to imagine such a beautiful young girl in a puppy’s eyes – but the photo seems to be saying: ‘this is the future’.
The Exhibition Organization
The organization of exhibition is done well. The photographs have no particular order except of those that are from the same artists and particularly on the same theme. Such photographs are placed together. The photos are represented in Gallery 851 of the Metropolitan Museum Art. They are well lit and placed on walls painted with white paint. The exhibition room is spacious and lit from the roof.
In general, the exhibition is a great work done by the Metropolitan museum. I find it quite appealing, especially in the manner in which photography is used to speak out our hopes and fears. The ability of Photoshop Software is shown and this exhibition indicates that photography can be used as a ground of communication on serious issues affecting our society. The combination of humor and seriousness in one photograph provides a viewer with a thoughtful and entertaining perception.
I greatly invite any person wishing to have a pensive viewing to find the time for this exhibition. As already noted above, it is running up to May 27th this year.