7/16/2009 - The New York Times review of "Bed" show including Dorothy O'Connor and Kim Riegel
There we sleep, dream, play and mate. There we spend a significant portion of life and often that’s where we are when it ends.
“Bed,” on display through Saturday at Umbrella Arts
in the East Village, features 45 pictures by photographers who answered
the gallery’s call to submit works uncovering the theme.
There are photographs of coffee-stained linens, pillow talk,
pornography and an abandoned prison cell housing the rusty frame of a
bunk bed. One photograph (”Naipes,” by Katie DelaVaughn) captures a boy
shuffling a deck of cards while a set of hands points a revolver in the
foreground. Another image (“Green,” by Dorothy O’Connor) is reminiscent
of a Henri Rousseau painting, with a young dreamer on a bed of grass
surrounded by growing vines.
“We do everything in bed,” said Harvey Stein,
a photographer, a teacher at the International Center of Photography
and the curator of the show. “I wanted to bring the bed from under the
radar to our attention in a fun way, in a provocative way.”
Mr. Stein said he was inspired to produce the show after being
captivated by one of his student’s photographs of an empty, unmade bed
next to a window. “It’s around us and we ignore it and other people
have made it the subject of their work,” he said, citing well-known
pictures by Elliott Erwitt, Nan Goldin, Cindy Sherman, Diane Arbus, and
William Eggleston that included beds. Asked about his selection
criteria, he said, “I didn’t want people just lying in bed.”
Mr. Stein plans to publish a book on the topic. Because of the
number of submissions, a sequel is also being planned for next year.
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