Monday, June 16, 2008

The Bomb

robert wilhite. june 14, 2008. dallas, texas ©allison v. smith
You have to see it to believe it. Los Angeles based artist, Robert Wilhite, has made a full size replica of the Fat Man nuclear bomb that was detonated over Nagasaki, Japan in 1945. The wooden sculpture measuring 5' x 11' is impressive in person and can be viewed through July 26 at the Barry Whistler Gallery. I knew I wanted to photograph Wilhite and his bomb, so before the shoot I studied Arnold Newman's portraits of artists. Newman's personal vision is completely inspiring to me. In my mind, he was the best portrait photographer that ever lived. Whoa, now that's a statement for someone who told me my photos were "superficial snapshots." But tell me, did Newman ever shoot a lousy portrait? So after getting my head around The Bomb, I asked what would Arnold Newman do. I hope it works.

4 comments:

leila said...

I WORKS!!! move over, newman!

Susana said...

you've got that stravinsky mojo going on, lady! A plus. but newman as the best portrait photog ever? even over penn and karsh? i love his earlier black and white portraits and some of the later color ones, but i am haunted by a portrait he made of bill clinton with a chandelier coming out of half of bill's head that HUNG at his retrospective at the Corcoran. A good cautionary tale as we edit our own work! Still, i love his Americans work - there is much to be inspired by fo sho!

matthew said...

What a great bit about Newman and the title of your blog! Always wondered where the name came from. Your portrait is very nice and very Newmanesque. He was the first portrait photographer I knew of and his work simply blew me away one photograph after another as I pored through the big self-titled yellow book. I think I'll go pull that one off the shelf. It's been a while.

Allison V. Smith said...

HA! I know that Clinton photo, it's troubling. I love Penn, a lot! I especially love his portraits of Truman Capote. OK ok.. I also LOVE Bruce Davidson's east 100th Street portraits. WOW, I am not worthy. Newman's big self-titled yellow book is full of artists portraits that kick some serious portrait butt. The color work is questionable, sorry master N.