I like photography, its an art form that allows the absolute truth to be shared – or a total fiction . I thought visiting the “Maison Européenne de la Photographie”, would have been a nice adventure – I like Robert Doniseau’s work . He captured in black & white, everyday drama with the common working Parisian.
I was hoping to view his work with a variety of subjects,. and to educate myself about this artist.
The Museum ‘s ticket price is 8.00, and free on Wednesday after 5pm, but its not well advertised – so I only found this financial fact , after I picked up the floor plan.
So with my love of the black & white – which trickles throughout my whole life style.. Where the “ good & bad & ugly” is displayed. I walked to the metro train, to visit this museum, hoping they would live up to the very high expectations of this art form.
NO, they did not, in my book . The museum is very convenient to find- it’s in a part of Paris called St Paul – for the ancient church that is prominent in the area. The museum’s contemporary building- and when you enter, the first thing you see, is a ‘zen garden’ (which means no plants allowed).
I thought this was very strange, but could see the logic — back & white garden to match photography ..yeah ..ok , I will buy that link.
As you walk inside the usual thin Parisians greet you with “Bonjour”, and I can now respond, and ask for a ticket, and a floor plan of the museum. (not that these things ever help me – I still get lost ) I need the floor plan to find where the toilettes are, you know the essentials of life!
Walking into first room, it was very low light, and if you have bad eyesight, you might have walked into the display, because it was on the floor! They placed large photos in frames 4 feet x 3 feet large, sitting on the floor ..this was a different way to show art – true , but the subject of the pics were abstract – and to me boring. .How can I view something that I had no idea of what is was? how can I tell , if the artist captured the essence of the subject ?? its like – viewing pictures in beauty magazines – thinking those models are walking perfection. Thank God for the photographers that take those pictures of “No Make “ of the stars, then you can see what air brushing does ..wow – Madonna , time did not treat you well ! (no Botox money?) The art work of Biasiucci was disappointing, it looked like enlarged pictures of rocks to me.-boring..
In another room – was an artist who must have some Russian connection, for the pictures themes were based here. It showed people in local clothing – but what stuck me, is the facial features.
These faces, with a round shapes, starred at you with piercing sky blue eyes. The looks of determination reached out to you, and hold you in place – to communicate their messages. These ice blue eyes spoke of defiance, strength & courage.
Another favorite of mine was, of a child playing on the cold grey statues of the communist figures – with a rough finish to show streignt of the Party in the large men figures. On the bottom of the statue, a little boy is playing , dressed in red, unaware that these figures have become a reminder of past political thoughts & policies. Of the past “Cold War”, that almost destroyed both countries.
What a perfect contrast – hard & soft, grey & red . this is what photography can do – show in one picture, the hard truth A true photo sums up so many ideas, in one – 3 second button pressed. Your life style, your meanings, your feelings, your life can be summed up in photos. An odd note here – I thought these were the best photos, and the artist name is not even listed on the program!
The rest of the museum was somewhat interesting, but as always – I found the building more interesting. The stone staircase, with its red carpet was wonderful to see,
so forgive me if I drift into architecture – but, the way I see it . I paid 8.00, and I need to get my money’s worth of art – and if that include that stair case ..then why not ?
As I moved from one room to another, my euthussum died with every level and entry into a new exhibit; I could not believe they would put a museum together with out including the men & women who took the pictures that have become so famous – that posters are now sold around the world of these “perfect shots”. Not even one room – out of 10! I was , shocked at this disrespect to the great ones. How dare they do this to– Robert Doneasu, Ansil Adams ….
Who does not know the picture of the D-Day Landing ?
These artist became masters of photography BEFORE air brushing ! These are another kind of “shots heard around the world”.
So overview – if you like abstract photography – then this is the place for you. BUT I would say attend on the free Wednesday night, just in case you have expectations too. As for me – I will continue my search for a place, where classic photography masters are proudly displayed for all.