Oftentimes, the people who attempt to turn photos into art fail miserably; witness most attempts at photographic surrealism or abstraction. Instead, it is often the documentarian who, through the perfect vision of hindsight, is revealed as the one who was artsy all along, simply by telling a story.
Take the two new exhibits at the Palm Beach Photographic Centre, both of which open officially at a reception this Thursday. The first is a look at a worldwide cultural phenomenon, while the second follows a brief period in the life of an American icon.
After taking pictures of the 1983 New Year's Eve in Paris, Jill Waterman decided to make New Year's Eve photography an ongoing project. Since then, she has captured the last night of the year in Montreal, London, Edinburgh, Jerusalem, Shanghai, and a variety of cities across the United States. Waterman intends to continue her work for a quarter of a century, which would make her opus one of the longest-enduring projects in the history of photography. "Auld Lang Syne: New Year's Eve Around the World"shows what she has done so far. Her experience has made Waterman one of the best fireworks photographers in the world, using slow shutter speed, sync flash, double exposures, and some clever darkroom work to produce eye-catching results.
Elliott Landy, the famed rock photographer responsible for album-cover art on recordings by Bob Dylan, the Band, Janis Joplin, and Van Morrison, presents "Dylan in Woodstock," a behind-the-scenes look at the folkster's life in Woodstock, New York, in the late 1960s. It reveals a family man who enjoyed the quiet rural life with his kids; of course, there was that one time when half a million people showed up in his back yard. Perhaps the ruination of this idyllic life is why Dylan didn't appear at the Woodstock Festival -- that or the motorcycle accident he was still recovering from.