Brancusi Self-Portraits

Andy's tweet about it reminds me how awesome the show of Brancusi photographs is at Bruce Silverstein. Just remarkable stuff, and great, old prints. The show's been around a while, and some of the highlights were in MoMA's show on sculpture and photography a couple of years ago. But still. It is a beautiful show.


And yes, maybe it's a bit corny, and maybe photographers roll their eyes at it, but I like the photos where Brancusi includes himself in the composition. The most obvious examples are when he's shooting a polished bronze sculpture, and he and his camera--and occasionally his flash--are all reflected and distorted in the work itself.

At least two examples are in the Silverstein show: Fish, above, and Bird. Brancusi's attention to composition and lighting, and to the depiction of his sculptures in three dimensional space--his studio--leads me to see these photos as intentional self-portraits, not inadvertent or unavoidable flaws. They expand the sculpture's space to include the camera and what/who's behind it, not just what's in front of it.


I can't remember or tell if Brancusi and his appareil are also visible in Prometheus, but it seems like there's at least one more example, where the artist includes a leg of the tripod in the shot. I may have to see the show again to check.

Brancusi Photos is up through June 23 at Bruce Silverstein Gallery []

Since 2001 here at, I've been blogging about the creative process—my own and those of people who interest me. That mostly involves filmmaking, art, writing, research, and the making thereof.

Many thanks to the Creative Capital | Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Program for supporting that time.

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