“Sonia Resika (1988)” was a prominent Robert Mapplethorpe image in “The Perfect Moment”, a traveling exhibition funded by the National Endowment for the Arts. This 2016 photography exhibition was on display at The Getty Museum in Los Angeles from mid-March through July.. Woman With Mapplethorpe Nude developed while crossing paths with this museum-goer several times while wandering through the Getty. The dress she was wearing; her high heel shoes; her almost model-like pose complimented the Mapplethorpe photograph.
Roaming through museums is enjoyable not only for the art, but for the juxtapositions or symmetry created by visitors and the art. This could be sculpture, painting, or photography. There are photographers who concentrate on this. Stefan Draschan, for one, spends hours with his camera in galleries and museums. His goal: trying to capture museum-goers who may match the pieces they’re looking at.
Famous street photographer Elliott Erwitt, has published “Museum Watching” (1999), a visual observation of his many years watching people who are observing the arts. The book’s cover is instructive: “I am a dedicated people watcher who loves to see art and art watchers watching. Museums provide irresistible visual feats of science, history, art on canvas, in sculpture, in buildings that are themselves art. Blending with displays, spectators provide the human scale, thinking, judging, having fun, feeling sensibilities. It all makes fine hunting for a furtive photographer on the prowl”. Hence, Woman With Mapplethorpe Nude is a perfect example of my view that street photography is a people safari.
“High Heels”, a second “photo of the week’ was posted in January 2018 from the same exhibition with the same museum-goer. For more information on David’s street photography, please explore this website www.DavidKalbPhotography.com. Note one of the galleries includes images from art museums in San Francisco, New York, Seattle – as well as Los Angeles.