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San Francisco collectors: The Traina Collection

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Our third private collection bring us back to San Francisco, this time to the M.H. de Young Museum in Golden Gate Park where Real to Real: Photographs from the Traina Collection is on view. The history of photography in this show begins with Robert Frank, Lee Friedlander, Diane Arbus and Garry Winogrand who set the stage for a fresh, young vision of photography: lots of color, lots of very large pieces and very conceptual. The collection hits all the stars of contemporary photography and includes younger artists such as Ryan McGinley and the much beloved Alec Soth. The idea is that photography has gone from reflecting the “real” to re-definining it. The 100 pieces are sorted into four groups: “Everyday”, “Excesses”, “Spectacular”, and “Losses.” The works fully embrace the conceptual aesthetic of the NOW: shuffled, sequenced, and laid out in nonlinear narrative structures. Combining and recombining already re-contextualized images, the photographers subvert the photographs’ original roles. That is the theory. In reality, people usually have no idea what they are really viewing but they are drawn to the work unconsciously. It is enough for most people to simply know that they have been somehow entertained or stimulated in some way without really knowing how or why.

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