Magic Mirror is an exciting exhibition of photographs that use reflections and mirrors as key elements in the aesthetic and conceptual composition of the image. Perception is a compelling concept whether one is referring to physically seeing a visual distortion or referring to the idea of how one perceives their own reflection.
The topic allows for a large range of ideas, genres and concerns to be expressed as photographers have been drawn to the dynamic visual effect of reflections through out history. In this exhibition we have many unlikely cohorts such as 19th Century French photographer Felix Jacques Moulin and contemporary artist Allen Frame. Moulin’s racy female nude posed in front of a mirror for a full view of her derriere contrasts with Frame’s image of two young men admiring themselves in tank tops and tight jeans.
Cecil Beaton’s classic 1948 color image of Charles James ball gowns reminds us of old world glamour while Corey Grant Tippin’s 1974 Polaroid of Potassa De La Fayette exhibits the chic attitude and style of that era. Then Lyle Ashton Harris brings us up to date with his photograph of M Lamar checking his look in a public restroom mirror.
Taking a look at the world around us with striking landscapes and cityscapes are Lisette Model, Lee Friedlander, Morris Engel, Andre Kertesz and Daniel Kukla with a lush color image of the night desert. Fashion photographers have long used reflections as a way to energize their work such as Melvin Sokolsky’s iconic “Bubble” photographs with the model posed in a transparent plastic orb that reflects it’s surroundings and William Klein’s infinitely reflected model in Paris.