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 []