Saturday, November 3, 2012
Lesbian Couple, 1972
Lesbian Couple, Hollywood, 1972, Gelatin silver print 14 x 11 inches.
Anthony Friedkin, a Los Angeles born and bred photographer, documents the surf and the people of Los Angeles. Friedkin’s acclaimed Gay Essay portrays “out” gay people who are comfortable with themselves and depicts the queer with an air of dignity. The Gay Essay was not shown in America for a long time due to rampant homophobia, simply put, but was exhibited in Europe and East Asia. Friedkin’s work is honest. His subjects are shown to be what and who they are and there is a beauty about this honesty in his work. Another merit of this man’s work is that he remains steadfast to film photography and is able to capture moments and really observe the subject. As a result, Friedkin reveals the subject and does not sugarcoat or vandalize the subject.
In The Gay Essay, Friedkin’s aim was to explore openly queer people and photograph them in a light which showed their pride in themselves. In The Gay Essay was the photograph above, Lesbian Couple. In the picture above, what caught my attention is the space and closeness between the two bodies, formally. The content, while not shocking or appalling, was stigmatized at the time that this photo was exhibited. It is easy to appreciate Friedkin’s intentions in taking this photo and the series of photos that belong to the essay.