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Bryan Adams, Sir Ben Kingsley, London

Bryan Adams, Sir Ben Kingsley, London (2010), archival pigment print [Glenbow Museum, Calgary AB, Feb 23-May 4] Photo: courtesy of Bryan Adam’s management company

Bryan Adams Exposed

Glenbow Museum
Calgary AB – Feb 23-May 4, 2014

Bryan Adams, Amy Winehouse, Mustique

Bryan Adams, Amy Winehouse, Mustique (2007), archival pigment print [Glenbow Museum, Calgary AB, Feb 23-May 4] Photo: courtesy of Bryan Adam’s management company


Bryan Adams, Sir Mick Jagger, New York

Bryan Adams, Sir Mick Jagger, New York (2008), archival pigment print [Glenbow Museum, Calgary AB, Feb 23-May 4] Photo: courtesy of Bryan Adam’s management company


The art world can be unkind to those who enter it from other disciplines. While some of us smile when we see music in the paintings of Joni Mitchell, others shrug as if to say, “That’s not painting.” A similar sentiment could be heard when the Glenbow announced last year that it would be mounting an exhibition of colour and black-and-white photography by Cuts Like a Knife rocker Bryan Adams.

An equal mix of war-wounded soldiers and the singer’s celebrity friends (Ben Kingsley and the late Amy Winehouse, to name a couple), Exposed appears to focus on the relationship between the subjects we turn away from and those we can’t take our eyes off. At the same time, the exhibit reveals the singer/photographer as a visual composer.

Of course, there will be those who recall earlier photographers like Weegee, who roamed the streets looking to wriggle his way through doorways where celebrities like Adams had entrée. But living as we do in a celebrity culture, is there not something to be seen when celebrities sit for and take pictures of one another, something not to turn away from with disdain, but to confront head on with sympathetic eyes?

glenbow.org

Michael Turner


 Thu, Feb 6, 2014