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For Brave Eyes - Eleven Images on December 8, 2008

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Today, we present three artists for your viewing pleasure:  David LaChapelle, Richard Misrach, and Robert Longo.

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David LaChapelle, The Superpower (1993)
 

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"Of all the photographers inventing surreal images, it is Mr. LaChapelle who has the potential to be the genre's Magritte."  - Richard Avedon, in The New York Times (recently), from David LaChapelle’s Homepage at Artist Work Catalogues  

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“As interesting and provocative as the cultural geography might be, the desert may serve as the backdrop for the problematic relationship between man and the environment. The human struggle, the successes and failures, the use and abuse, both noble and foolish, are readily apparent in the desert. Symbols and relationships seem to arise that stand for the human condition itself. It is a simple, if almost incomprehensible equation: the world is as terrible as it is beautiful, but when you look more closely, it is as beautiful as it is terrible. We must maintain constant vigilance, to protect the world from ourselves, and to embrace the world as it exists. (1987) – Richard Misrach, from his Homepage at Artist Works Catalogues. 

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Wendover Air Force Base, in Wendover, Utah, was the site at which the U.S. Army Air Force trained pilots and tested prototype weapons for the dropping of atomic bombs on Japan.  A specially modified B-29 Superfortress left Wendover to fly to tiny Tinian Island in the Western Pacific, on June 27, 1945.  When it reached Tinian, the B-29 flew several conventional combat and training missions, and then on August 5, 1945, she was loaded with one bomb, “Little Boy,” an atomic bomb.  That day, the pilot of the B-29, Paul Tibbits, named her “Enola Gay” after his mother.  The next day, the Enola Gay took off for her target, Hiroshima, Japan, and returned to Tinian after devastating much of the city and introducing mankind to the specter still hanging over us, nuclear annihilation. Three days later another B-29 flew from Tinian with another atomic bomb, “Fat Man”, and devastated much of Nakasaki.  

The Enola Gay never again saw duty at Wendover AFB, but instead flew back to Roswell Army Air Field, in New Mexico, on November 6, 1945.

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“I think I make art for brave eyes. I don't want to make art that will pat you on the back and tell you everything is going to be okay. I want to make something that's much more confronting. You don't look at it(;) it looks at you as much as you look at it.” – Robert Longo (1986), from his Homepage at artnet’s Artist Works Catalogues. 

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The above four works by Mr. Longo are charcoal on paper. 

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“In April of 1988, nine women calling themselves the Princesses of Plutonium hiked (at night) undetected across the desert into the nation’s nuclear testing grounds.  At dawn, dressed in radiation suits and death masks, the princesses handed out fliers to the incoming workers (at Yucca Flats) stating that “The area is contaminated, evacuate immediately.”  The women were arrested and faced…six month jail sentence(s).  Their performance, however, inspired hundreds of “copycat” invasions and arrests, which jammed the courts and ultimately resulted in the charges against the Princesses being dismissed.”  - Richard Misrach (1987), from page 15 of “All Works” at artnet’s Artist Works Catalogues. 

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(Courtesy of Fred Torres Collaborations, Fraenkel Gallery, Pace/MacGill Gallery, Marc Selwyn Fine Art, David LaChapelle, Robert Longo, and Richard Misrach, and artnet’s Artist Works Catalogues.  To go to Artist Works Catalogues, click here.) 

 

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I have a law degree (Stanford, 66') but have never practiced. Instead, from 1967 through 1977, I tried to contribute to the revolution in America. As unsuccessful as everyone else over that decade, in 1978 I went to work for the U.S. Forest (more...)
 

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