This past Wednesday the Steven Kasher gallery opened with a tantalizing new show called simply “Inspired,” featuring photography centered around the theme of icons, as curated by Beth Rudin DeWoody. The guiding word ‘iconic’ is held rather loosely; one of the first pictures I was shown was inspired by a photo comparison on totallylooksalike.com, where another was an image of a tattooed hand coming out of the water in imitation of classic Loch Ness monster photographs.
Present was Jessie Mann who had taken photos inspired by The Countess of Castiglione (castee-yoln-ay; please don’t deface the Italian).
“I think it’s great that an inspired woman would be able to to work around the social constraints of the time; she had a lot of money, she did the sets, the costumes, told the photographers what to do. At that time you couldn’t do that if you were a woman, but because she was rich she was able to break through the boundaries.”
“What would you do if you became rich and famous over night?”
“Make more art.”
“Do you want to do anything with it? Make any sort of affect on our culture?”
“Well, with our image-based society I think that anything we see has a strong effect on the culture; so that’s a given. I just want to make more of it.”