Life Through the Lens
The idea for this exhibition developed more than three years ago when a slightly different version was presented to the committee hiring the Exhibitions Director of the Villa Julie Gallery. The concept: to explore the work of A. Aubrey Bodine, an artist whose work is clearly identified with the Baltimore region and the Sun Paper and his influence on contemporary photojournalists. What the show has become is less a discussion of photojournalism but the work of two artists. A. Aubrey Bodine and Jed Kirschbaum have essentially worked through the same venue, The Sun, almost consecutively for three quarters of a century and use the medium to tell us who we are as a people. It has less to do with the documentation of news but the enduring influence of image.
Mention Aubrey Bodine to Baltimoreans of a certain age and invariably they mention saving his pictures from the Sunday Sun, collected in scrapbooks and on bulletin boards, and the thrill of seeing one's own block or favorite park immortalized.
Jed Kirschbaum initially questioned the propriety of his work mentioned in the same breath as Bodine. I assured him that not only are his images clipped and posted on refrigerators throughout the city, including my own, but that he also shares the common heritage as newsman and visual poet.
Bodine photographs appear courtesy of Kathleen Ewing Gallery 1609 Connecticut Avenue, Suite 200, Washington, DC (202) 328-0955. The Gallery is the exclusive representative of the A. Aubrey Bodine estate. All photographs are sliver gelatin prints except where noted, and were printed by Bodine. Jed Kirschbaum's photographs appear courtesy of the Baltimore Sun and are available through their division of consumer products (410) 332-6801.