OPENING NIGHT: The Magnum Contact Sheet Exhibition
It is not every night that Magnum fans, clutching their Leica M9’s, while wearing their official National Geographic backpacks get to stand next to the 80 year old Bruce Davidson surrounded by hot chicks. Last night they all came together at the opening of The Magnum Contact Sheet Exhibition. The contact sheets on display ranged from students hurling projectiles at the police to lamas poking their long necks out of car windows. Seeing the contact sheet allows the viewer to get inside the Magnum photographer’s head and dissect their process step by step and find out why exactly Magnum photographers like Thomas Hoepker chose that particular shot of Muhammad Ali.
The contact sheets demonstrate the technical aspects of photography from start to finish, delving deep into the the minds of 58 Magnum photographers. Every last detail is revealed, such as in, Stuart Franklin‘s contact sheet of Tien An Men Square that visually shows his last minute decision to rush back to his hotel bed and switch lens’s for a tighter shot.
Other than the infamous street photography of the Magnum heavy hitters, the show also features a variety of lovers, city beaches and famous people. "Most of the photographs are iconic. Very seminal photos a part of the photo journalism’s history. However, the idea was simply to have a show that was just as much about the process as it was about the image. The contact sheet to me reveals just how much photography is about the incredible art of decision making and is as much editing and curation of reality, as it is a brush stroke", says Magnum’s Creative Director, Gideon Jacobs.
What is more fulfilling than seeing an analog photograph printed to perfection? Seeing the contact sheet that came before it. The show is up till July 13 at Milk Gallery, so stop on by and check out every last particle of dust and hair that went into printing that photograph of Che Guevara smoking a cigar. For more Magnum fun, be sure to also check out the Alec Soth Artist Talk, held on June 30 from 5:30-7pm at Milk Gallery.
Select Contact Sheets are available for purchase in the Milk Gallery Store.