Larry Fink: Homage to George Grosz
Photo Courtesy of The powerHouse Gallery
The Forbidden Pictures: A Political Tableau by Larry Fink
NEW YORK • The powerHouse Gallery • Ongoing
|twelve color photographs from The Forbidden Pictures: A Political Tableau by acclaimed photographer Larry Fink, a master of social photography and photojournalism, and author of three powerHouse Books monographs: Boxing, Runway, and Social Graces. A provocative political commentary, “The Forbidden Pictures” is a satirical look at America’s current leaders, referencing the decadence and style of Weimar artists George Grosz, Otto Dix, and Max Beckmann. |
Originally set to run in The New York Times Magazine in the Fall of 2001, the tragic events of September 11 and the ensuing media self-censorship created an environment where Fink’s critical images of the president and his men were deemed unpublishable.
First exhibited at the DuBois Gallery at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, The Forbidden Pictures caused quite a sensation, as the office of director Ricardo Viera received nearly one thousand telephone calls and e-mails in two days.
Of particular offense was a four-by-four foot photograph of a George Bush look-alike fondling a woman’s breast. "The woman has to be seen as a metaphor for our foreign policy," Fink told The Associated Press. "I think that would be appropriate for what we were doing in our foreign policy: Groping without any good understanding of what were were doing and taking advantage of our imperious power."
Called “offensive” and “inappropriate,” this photograph outraged conservatives and republicans nationwide, including Steve Elliot of Grassfire.org, who told the Allentown Morning Call that the university should “do the decent and honorable thing and take the picture down.” Hardly a surprising reaction considering that the voice that mocks and questions our elected officials has all but been silenced throughout the Bush administration. Leave it to Fink to challenge the status quo.
Accompanying the show is a twenty-four page exhibition catalogue, The Forbidden Pictures, featuring four-color reproductions of the photographs on display at The powerHouse Gallery, as well as newspaper articles on the Lehigh University exhibition, and a selection of email responses to that show.
The Forbidden Pictures: A Political Tableau will be on exhibit at The powerHouse Gallery during the Republican National Convention, August 30–September 2, at Madison Square Garden, New York.
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