For the past few years we have been joining photographer Jeannette Montgomery Barron regularly, for dinners and lunches, in her adopted home of Italy, via a beautiful series of images she has slowly compiled and posted teasingly on Instagram. That we are thousands of miles away and have not so much as shared a bite makes no difference. These are not foodie pics. While these are meals attended by Barron, we do not see any food and are not given any clues to the whereabouts of these establishments. Yet we can hear everything in these photographs. The almost inconsequential “Let's eat out”, quickly followed by reaching for the house keys, no changing—maybe just wrapping a scarf around your throat—then walking around the corner and in to the familiarity of the place where you are known and simply, deliciously fed.
These photos capture a range of restaurants, mostly Roman. From plastic plaid tablecloths to smooth, reassuring white linens, we wonder what that meal was like and with whom did she dine. Tables are laid with clues, from perfect pre-meal symmetry, to the sensual mess of tables loitered at; others, neatly ravaged with emptied espresso cups, stubbed cigarette butts, and what we can only imagine are the dredges of a great conversation left behind.
These images have been nagging us. They deceptively simple, but they provoke and attract us. What is it? Have we missed something?
We finally realize, yes, we have missed something. In the hyperbolic explosion of food culture, absurdist real estate dramas, and the ubiquitous tonnage of "branding", we have in America mislaid the ultimate comfort of the neighborhood spot. With her elemental, reserved images, Barron has broken our hearts as we long for all the iterations of these we lost in the US. These are the places you and your team eat at several times a week. Usually the same meal, or a variation on one, or one requested and prepared by the chef for a regular. The place you have a few preferred tables, you know the waitstaff by name. Where the proprietor is a friend by virtue of having had so many small pleasant conversations in passing, where the details of one another's lives slowly are revealed after so many visits. You know their kids, grandparents, and vacation schedules. The food is lovely, but one initially is going for convienence, which gives way to dependablity and reassurance. This meal out is the solution to a busy day that does not represent a luxury. It is rather a community and a comfort.
In these images we are also reminded of the value of the ritual of the shared meal. At these tables, our lives are shaped, with conversations supported by bowls of steaming pasta, a particularly tasty salad, a glass of house red. No prep, no dishes to distract us. Perhaps we also feel nostalgia for a time when the end of the day meant reuniting with one’s people, to recap the day, a system quite obsolete now that we text, DM and WhatsApp our way from waking to sleeping. Maybe it is also a mirage, of urban middle class life that Italy has managed to preserve, mostly expunged from our Americans cities. It seems exotic now, doesn’t it? At Jeannette's brilliant suggestion, we have asked her friend, the writer Chiara Barzini to populate the photos of her choosing with small scraps of fictional lives, as if overheard at a neighboring table. http://ladyworld.tv
Upstate Diary is interested in the lifestyles of people creating in close proximity to nature, and the places they have found in their search for richer, less distracted lives. The future, like our cover and the meaning of “upstate,” feels wide open indeed…
Twelve page spread featuring photographs taken by Jeannette Montgomery Barron of Nancy Olnick and Giorgio Spanu with writing by Stephen Greco.
25 covers for the 25 anniversary of Purple Magazine. Cindy Sherman photographed by Jeannette Montgomery Barron.
"For our 25th anniversary issue, Purple celebrates the artists and models who incarnated the spirit of the magazine through their style, attitude, and personality: Cindy Sherman, Richard Prince, Paul McCarthy, Michèle Lamy, Susan Cianciolo… Stella and Eva… Amanda Wall, Maurizio Cattelan, Paul Hameline… and more."
A View of One's Own: Three Women Photographers in Rome: Esther Boise Van Deman, Georgina Masson and Jeannette Montgomery Barron.
This selection of photographs of Rome and its environs by three women, drawn in part from the Photographic Archive of the American Academy in Rome, confronts the Eternal City and its urban transformation over more than a century, from the Belle Époque to the present day. The exhibition traces the emergence of photography as an independent medium wielded by women with distinctive viewpoints, as it evolved from a documentary aid to a vehicle for subjective expression. Seen in succession against a photographic landscape defined for the most part by men, the images posit another way of seeing the city's history. In these photographs, taken by female flâneurs, empirical observations of bricks and mortar progressively dissolve into pure, evanescent experience.
Catalog for exhibition A View of One's Own - Three Women Photographers in Rome: Esther Van Deman, Georgina Masson, Jeannette Montgomery Barron.
This exhibition, drawn in part from the holdings of the Photographic Archive of the American Academy in Rome, features a selection of photographs by foreign women in Rome from three successive generations. Their work confronts aspects of the Eternal City and its urban transformation over more than a century, from the Belle Époque to the present day.
This exhibition was curated by Lindsay Harris, Peter Benson Miller, and Angela Piga.
MIRRORS. Montgomery Barron's first exhibition of black and white MIRRORS opened at Magazzino in May 2004. She has continued photographing mirrors since then, in color. The exhibition opens on November 9, 2016.
A VIEW OF ONE’S OWN: THREE WOMEN PHOTOGRAPHERS IN ROME.
ESTHER VAN DEMAN, GEORGINA MASSON, JEANNETTE MONTGOMERY BARRON
This event is part of the series New Work in the Arts & Humanities: American Classics. This exhibition features a selection of photographs by foreign women in Rome from three successive generations, all of them connected to the American Academy. Their work confronts aspects of the Eternal City and its urban transformation over more than a century, from the Belle Époque to the present day. At the same time, it tracks the emergence of photography as an independent medium wielded by women with distinctive viewpoints, as it evolved from a documentary aid to a vehicle for subjective, even gendered expression. The protagonists are American archaeologist Esther Van Deman, who photographed Rome and its surroundings in the 1910s; Georgina Masson, author of the classic guidebook,The Companion Guide to Rome, that has shaped foreigners’ experiences of Rome since the 1950s; and contemporary photographer Jeannette Montgomery Barron, whose images capture glimpses of Rome as seen by an American living abroad in the Eternal City, folding them into a wandering, meditative reverie. Seen in succession against a photographic landscape of Rome defined for the most part by men, these photographs posit another way of seeing the city’s history. Taken by female flâneurs, empirical observations of bricks and mortar progressively dissolve into pure, evanescent experience. A View of One’s Own is curated by Lindsay Harris, Peter Benson Miller, and Angela Maria Piga.
Inaugural Lecture Zoe Strauss 13 October 2016 6pm, AAR Lecture Room
Lecture Letizia Battaglia 3 November 2016 6:30pm, AAR Lecture Room
Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays, 4pm-7pm until 27 November 2016
Musée Magazine issue 15 features JMB photos with André Aciman essay, "ROME IS."
Read more at museemagazine.com
Upstate Diary is about the creative possibilities that thrive in communities outside of city limits. The ways that natural beauty and the challenges of rural life inform and influence the creative process form common themes among most of the artists we feature. Upstate in this context is truly about a state of mind.
We hope that you will learn something new, become inspired by these stories and be inspired to explore.
Upstate Diary is the brainchild of Swedish Photographer and Director Kate Orne, formally an editor at Interview Magazine.
More than a book, a personal diary where the photographer has jotted down notes, collected photographs shot in studios, homes and clubs, letters, and mementos of events linked to her life in New York in the Eighties, further enriched by artists' recollections of that period.
A journey that certainly does not want to be philological but intimate and minimalistic, in its attempt to convey the sense of a special moment in time to those who had not experienced it.
Contributions by: John Ahearn, James Barron, Mike Bidlo, Ross Bleckner, James Brown, Sandro Chia, Enzo Cucchi, Peter Halley, Annette Lemieux, Peter McGough, Jeannette Montgomery Barron, Luigi Ontani
From Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat, to Andy Warhol and Bianca Jagger, she has shot them all. Known for the black and white portraits of key figures on the New York underground scene in the 1980s that appeared in Interview, Vanity Fair and Vogue, Jeannette Montgomery Barron has brought some of her best together in Scene, an intimate selection of work. Some of the most powerful and poetic shots will be on show at concept store colette in Paris until May 4. We spoke to Jeanette for the inside story behind some iconic images.
More information upon request.