The Phoenix Art Museum is hosting several interesting exhibits this summer, but there are two that are truly inspirational.
“The Process and the Page” features photographer books and original prints from Richard Avedon, W. Eugene Smith, Ansel Adams and others. Among these well-known names were two women photographers who I had never heard of, Rosalind Solomon and Barbara Crane. The work of these women spoke so clearly to my art photography aesthetic tastes, and I have to attribute my ignorance to the usual over emphasis in photo history on the white male perspective.
Also showing is a collection of Japanese Noh Masks, “Quiet Rage, Gentle Wail”. I’m a fan of all Japanese Art, there’s equal parts elegance and goofiness wrapped in an exotic sushi roll. Since I also make sculptural masks of the same approximate size, I got a lot of ideas to incorporate in my own pieces; the forehead bits, ways to work with cheeks, strange expressions, demon men and the outer shape of the masks.