Sunday, February 28, 2010

Bill Genaust: Shooting Iwo Jima

In this day and age of digital and pocket-sized video cameras, it is an awesome experience to watch "Shooting Iwo Jima," a fascinating documentary about an American hero, Bill Genaust.  His is not a household name, but should be.  He was a war photographer who fought in the Battle of Iwo Jima, and who is most famous for capturing the (second) flag raising on Iwo Jima on color motion picture film with his 16 millimeter camera.  FDR immediately saw the value of the controversial photograph and seized the opportunity to use it to sell war bonds.

Thanks to Genaust, not only are we able to witness the fiercest battles of WWII right in the thick of it, but are able to follow the story of the nine days he risked his life capturing an up close view of American troops in battle via 23 reels of film and his personal notes.  You never see Bill, himself, in the reels, other than one poignant shot of his left hand wearing his wedding ring and his combat boots as he films from a foxhole.

This forgotten hero was shot to death by Japanese soldiers when he lit the way into a cave for the other marines.  His body was never recovered and he was left behind near the place he made so famous.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Women in Art Acknowledged

FINALLY - in the 21st century, the art world is beginning to acknowledge the contributions women have made to the art world.  I've always been suspect about how famous male artists became throughout time and how few women ever received any recognition when it's obvious that many women deserve much more credit than they've received.

An exhibit in Philadelphia examines the lost legacy of women in Pop Art - "Seductive Subversion: Women Pop Artists 1958-1968" showing at the University of the Arts until March 15, focusing exclusively on the forgotten women of Pop Art and shows about 50 works - some not seen publicly in 40 years - of 20 female Pop artists from the United States and around the world.

Today I was privileged to attend "The Subject is Women: Impressionism and Post-Impressionism" at the Nassau County Museum of Art in Roslyn, NY where they were showing a lavish viewing of works by women and works depicting women.  And in their gift shop, noticed the first book I'd seen on the art of Lee Krasner - Jackson Pollock's wife.  I was happy to see that she's finally being given the respect she always deserved.

I hope this trend continues and art historians uncover the truth about women in art.  We're in for a real treat!