MUSICAL PORTRAITS

Deborah Feingold

From 30th NOVEMBER 2017 to 30th JANUARY 2018


OPENING thursday 30th November - 20hs

 

“It was very free-form, and I´d never been happier. Being around jazz musicians, I learned how to improvise. That changed my life. It was risk-taking and it was exciting.” DF

MONDO GALERIA presents for the first time in Spain a solo exhibition by Deborah Feingold, an American photographer pioneer of adding musicality to portraiture. Always close to the music scene, each one of her images has a careful construction based on rhythm and melody overturned to color, which has managed to tame beasts of the likes of Keith Richards or Tom Wolfe, as well as create intimate dialogues with less hedonistic characters such as Brian Eno or Sinead O'Connor. Her indisputable career makes it today, with time, one of the most important portraitists of pop culture since the end of the 70s.
 

 

“David Byrne”. 1983. ©Deborah Feingold.

20 of the best portraits by Deborah Feingold make this exhibition an unmatchable tour through the last decades of a century (XXth) when popular culture was invented and that musicians were turned into great visual aspirations beyond their musical talents.

 

“Sinead O´Connor” 1990. ©Deborah Feingold


The musicality on the portrait

Musicality is related to the beautiful, the aesthetic and the tangible of music, but it also refers to what is born inside, which is inherent to the musical person. Almost all good musicians, if we observe, carry that musicality in their person. Their posture, their way of walking, the expressions or the space they fill in. That musicality is what Deborah Feingold captures with her camera.

Although aware of the presence of the camera, the portrayed one appears playing, creating, negotiating his image with the photographer. Although the compositions are sometimes complex, naturalness is what always prevails, strangely, within these moments built to the millimeter. There is whaere we can see her experience, a photographer who knows how to prepare her canvas so that at the moment of shooting it is the improvisation that prevails, the ease, the fluidity of the moment and the encounter. And in this she behaves totally like a Jazz musician. Miles Davis (with whom Deborah had the opportunity to coincide) does not improvise on an empty open field, the king of the bebop, like his friend Coltrane or many others, improvise on a specific melody, once absorbed and assimilated. When they dominate it, is when they can put it together and disarm it innumerable times, undo it, dissect it and always return to it as if nothing had happened.
In the image exists a time factor that is irreversible, but that is what ends up creating a good photograph. That: it could not be half a second before or a half after. There is an exact moment that makes the photograph and that moment in the portrait is a moment of confluence between the photographer and the photographed, a supreme moment that is engraved on the plate and it is the result of all the ingredients that were carefully prepared for that image, added to the improvisation of the moment and united by an amalgam of time and magic that is the only thing that create an image as these are. Then, analysis will come with the years, the time, who have become the portrayed or if an image has become an icon or not, but, the important thing, the essential, was there dormant from the exact moment it was shot.

 

“Brian Eno” 1981. ©Deborah Feingold

 

ABOUT THE ARTIST

Deborah Feingold
(Rhode Island, 1951)

One of photographer Deborah Feingold's earliest darkrooms was actually a prison cell. After graduating from Emerson College in the early 1970's, she was awarded a grant to teach photography to troubled youth in a Boston prison, affirming her belief in the power of the camera as a tool for self-expression and communication and laying the groundwork for a decades-long career photographing the most prominent names in American culture.

Feingold moved to New York City in 1976, where her relationship with a jazz musician inspired her to embrace a spirit of improvisation in her photography and led to her first major assignment: shooting jazz icon Chet Baker for the Artist House record label. Her work with Baker and others on the label caught the attention of Musician magazine, who hired Feingold as their New York liaison.
Turning her small apartment into a makeshift studio (this time her shower stall served as the dark room) and freewheeling it on the unpredictable streets of New York, Feingold captured indelible images of some of the most legendary names in music, from B.B. King and James Brown to Bono and Madonna to REM and Pharrell.
 
Feingold's unique ability to put her subjects almost immediately at ease engendered the kind of rare moments of honesty and intimacy that became the hallmark of her work, and over the ensuing decades, her photographs would appear in Rolling Stone, Time, Newsweek and The New York Times among others, along with countless album and book covers. The portraits in her catalog read like a who's who of cultural icons: President Barack Obama, Mick Jagger, Bill Gates, Tom Wolfe, Prince, Johnny Depp, George Carlin, and many more.
 
 
 

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