on the Free Spirit

I rode my bike to the gates of hell.   I always smile when I think of that.

Just a ride down to the museums today. 
To see the Richard Avedon show.   To sit outside and eat the lunch I brought.  to enjoy a cold beer, in a pint glass, with a cloth napkin. Hearty bread sandwich.  and a chocolate croissant.                                          

                                                                      Rodin Museum
      detail from the giant doors.
  sitting out in the little garden is always a good place to eat,
   and listen to the foreign tongued tourist visitors chat

I've never seen the Gross Clinic,  I took that in at the phila. museum of art
       a group of school kids sat around it, in the gallery,  I sat in on the lecture too,
                          its a dark painting, with a brilliant natural light, illuminating the subjects.

painted for the 1876 centennial exhibit, to be hung in memorial hall, over there by Belmont where we ride our mtbikes.   The masterpiece was rejected for the show, and hung off in a medical/army exhibit, to gross I guess.
must of been quite a rejection for the 31 year old man,  5 million visitors went to the 1876 fair.

                                 The Gross Clinic on display @ the fair, in the US army post.

Avedon:  the show of portraits from 1976,  its good,  it would/will be good to go back and look up the Rolling Stone article,  the issue, and understand the importance, the roll these photos played in that era.    I was 14 in '76,  a strange year of change, real change and fears, in america.    I'm glad I grew up with that time in my history.

I love lighting, and I study each of Avedon's photos, looking at how hard and where the shadows fall.  For the reflection of the light source in the subjects eye.
I flipped through the books in the Museums store, looking, looking and a couple had the answers for me:

                    see in the eye,  that is the reflection, of a light bounced into a lighting umbrella.

and here,  in this cropped photo,  it is Avedon working, reflected in a mirror off to the side of the model.  An assistant, aims the light, which is low and closed to the camera.

plenty more happened today, it was full of stories, and tales, and a couple of real sweet events,
I think, not much of it all would have fallen in place, if I did not swing my leg over the old Free Spirit and pedaled it down to the city and back.

Richard Avedon: "Family Affairs"


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