Sunday 7 February 2010

Ode to the humble Polaroid...

Late last year I blogged about the sad demise of the Polaroid, after visiting the exhibition Polaroid: Exp. 09.10.09. at the Atlas Gallery. Sad that I can no longer use my beloved Polaroid, a couple of weeks back I started thinking about my love for the Polaroid and decided to order the official Polaroid Book by Taschen to console myself.
As I flicked through the previously unleafed pages I was reminded about Polaroid’s that I have previously taken, although somehow – I’m putting it down to the Polaroid’s whimsical nature – they have all been long lost or ‘accidentally taken’ by old friends and acquaintances. The only one I could find dates back to 2002 when a neighbour left two slashed leather chairs outside our flat and I guess I must have been playing outside with my new toy and thought they’d make a good shot... somehow - to me at least - they do. Perhaps this is where my fascination with vintage leather furniture began. Leather furniture is a- highly aesthetically pleasing (if in brown, navy or possibly red at a stretch) and b- highly durable, and c- tells so many stories about where it’s been and the lives that have centred around it. It’s just a whole lot more special than the cheap leather crap and fire-resistant polyester you find nowadays, don’t ya think!?
In reminiscing I remembered why Polaroid’s were so iconic. Never before was a memory or unique moment so instantly capture-able and accessible without the hassle and cost of paying and waiting for a laboratory to develop it. Polaroid simply cut out the middle man, which was revolutionary for consumers – although I’m sure there were some developers who felt the repercussions by way of no longer having the privilege to develop and sneek a sly peek at pictures of the kinkier variety. I say this as everyone with a little life in them has surely been there, done that – including many of the photographers, whose work features within The Polaroid Book. There was just something about the Polaroid that brought out the naughtier side...
Don Rodan, 'Hypnos', 1977
Mark Power, 'Sisters 1', 1970
Pete Turner, 'Women on Black Beach', 1976
Whilst a teeny-weeny bit disappointed that the epic images I spied at the Atlas Gallery were not present in Polaroid’s own collection book (as I thought was a fact recalled from the exhibition... *scratches head*) I have embraced the book into my ever-expanding collection of art titles (most of which are published by Taschen, Phaidon and Tate). There were after all, several Warhol’s, Newton’s, a Hockney and works by Barbara Hitchcock so it’s very good really!
Here are some of my favourites:
Blok, Diana + Broekmans, Mario, 'Construction', 1981
Jan Hnizdo, 'Woman on street', ????
Jorge Saenz, 'Venta de Peces', 1994
Chuck Close, 'Self-Portrait', 1987
Helmut Newton, 'untitled', 1976
David hockney, 'Interior, Pembroke Studios', 1986
Andy Warhol, 'Unlimited', 1979
Bill Burke, 'Seated Man, Tiled Floor, Brazil', 1982

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