Nickolas Muray photographs at Pera Museum
ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
The exhibition, which includes 162 selected photographs by the artist, introduces Nikolas Muray to local art lovers in Turkey for the first time at the Pera Museum.The Pera Museum welcomes 2013 with the exhibition “Nickolas Muray: Portrait of a Photographer,” featuring a collection of images captured by the celebrated photographer of legendary celebrities and artists, shedding light on the history of photography, fashion and advertising.
With the portraits and fashion photographs he began taking in the 1920s, Muray became one of the pioneering and most successful photographers of his field in both New York and the United States. The exhibition, which includes 162 selected photographs by the artist, introduces Muray to local art lovers in Turkey for the first time at the Pera Museum.
Brought to life in collaboration with George Eastman House, one of the most prestigious film and photography museums in the world, the exhibition includes intriguing photographs of stars such as Joan Crawford, Marlene Dietrich, Douglas Fairbanks Jr., Greta Garbo, Jean Harlow, Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Taylor, as well as legendary artists like Claude Monet, Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera.
Muray’s unique photographic method, which he attributed to the use of the soft focus lens, quick exposure and a sensible use of the retouching pencil, won him global acclaim for its aesthetically pleasing results.
“I favor the soft focus lens because personally I am well satisfied in obtaining a pleasing, general effect as opposed to representing a subject in all its minutest detail. I am not arguing against showing detail or, for example, the necessary lines in a face, which denote character, but I am not concerned with the number or distinctness of the pores in a sitter’s face. I want my impression of people as seen through my own eyes at a reasonable distance and not through a magnifying glass. Nor do I desire to see them through a haze,” Muray had been quoted as saying in 1923 in James Wallace Gillies’ book “Principles of Pictorial Photography.”
“Therefore, I don’t strive for fuzziness or dimness in a picture. The soft focus lens, yes, but used intelligently. A face clear and characterful and neither befogged or “hair-line” sharp is the effect I try to achieve. For expediency, I prefer the soft focus lens for its depth of field. I want the ear of my sitter to be as well defined as the tip of his nose, the hand on his knee as clear as his shoulder.”