A few weeks ago, Barcelona witnessed the opening of The New York Times Magazine. Fotografies exhibition, a retrospective already shown at Les Rencontres d’Arles photography festival, and also at the FOAM gallery in Amsterdam. This exhibition shows the important role of the afore-mentioned publication in shaping the possibilities of magazine photography through its commissioning and publishing of photographer’s work across the spectrum of the medium, from photojournalism to fashion photography and portraiture.
And one of the things that strikes us the most when contemplating the works shown is the Magazine’s Photo Editor and curator of the exhibition Kathy Ryan’s savoir faire when assigning the multiple jobs: instead of choosing, for example, the best fashion photographer to shoot a fashion reportage, she calls a landscape or a conceptual photographer in order to make them exit their comfort zone and, thereby, ends up with an innovative view and spectacular results.
As Ryan asserts, “often the best creative work happens when there is crossover between different disciplines. A film is painterly. A photograph is sculptural. Likewise, the Magazine is often at its best when we bring photographers to projects that fall outside their usual borders. When a fine artist takes on a news story, or a documentary photographer embarks on a fashion shoot, sparks fly from the page.”