Last night had the pleasure of visiting the home of Joanne Cohen and Morris Wheeler for a presentation by renowned photographic artist Roger Ballen. The event was sponsored by Cleveland Museum of Art’s Friends of Photography. FOP’s mission is to “cultivate knowledge of the art and history of photography, to promote collecting, and to generate funds with which to acquire works for the museum.” So, I finally joined, and I’m wondering what took me so long. It was a great evening of stimulating conversation, viewing an amazing collection in the home, and listening to Mr. Ballen discuss his work.
I was a little surprised that he was such a formalist. His work has always seemed like it was hyper-charged with dark, if ambiguous, content. But I really connected to his creative drive. Be sure to check out Roger Ballen’s website for more information on the artist and his work.
Friends of Photography is comprised of local photographic artists, art collectors, educators, museum staff, enthusiasts, and just plain great people from around the area. Oh, yeah…and students. A small contingent of photo students made their way from Oberlin College for the event. Students get a special rate of $75 to join, but in order to join you also need to become a member of CMA. The museum offers a 30% discount on Individual or Family Memberships to full-time students. Please speak with me if you’re interested in joining.
A definite highlight of the evening was viewing Joanne Coheen and Morris Wheeler’s amazing art collection, which included many great names of contemporary photographic art, including Chuck Close, Gregory Crewdson, Hiroshi Sugimoto, Uta Barth, Ori Gersht, Damien Hirst (!), John Baldessari, Andy Goldsworthy, William Wegman, Sam Taylor Wood, Cindy Sherman, Dawoud Bey, David Levinthal, James Welling, Tracy Moffat, Andrew Moore, Man Ray, Catherine Opie, Ed Burtinsky, Chris Jordan, Barbara Kruger, Michael Wolf …. (*big exhale*), and my hero, Vik Muniz (above).