Barbara Ess, an artist and musician best known for plumbing the limits of perception with a pinhole camera, died on Thursday at her home in Elizaville, N.Y. She was 76.
The cause was cancer, according to Bard College, where she was an associate professor of photography.
In a varied career rooted in the downtown Manhattan art scene of the 1970s and ’80s, Ms. Ess sang and played guitar and bass in Y Pants, the Static and other “No Wave” bands — hard-charging rejoinders to the perceived commercialism of punk — and published an influential mixed-media zine.
But it was in 1983 that she found her muse when she happened upon an article about pinhole cameras in The New York Times. Admitting light directly through a tiny aperture with no focus mechanism, a pinhole camera was easy for Ms. Ess to build at home. Without the distortion of a lens,
Photography Jackie NIckerson. Images courtesy of Dior
In the long history of the relationship between the worlds of fashion and fine art, a story that often goes overlooked is that of Monsieur Christian Dior. You, of course, know him for the eponymous Maison he founded in 1947, now one the proudest names in fashion and culture at large. A lesser-known fact about the seminal couturier, however, is that long before his career in fashion, he enjoyed a reputation as one of Paris’ most eminent art dealers in the early 1930s. Together with his business partner Pierre Colle, he even presented Alberto Giacometti’s first Paris solo show, and, in June 1931, debuted Salvador Dalí’s masterpiece The Persistence of Memory (that’s right, the one with the melting clocks).
It’s a history that is often overshadowed by the legacy of the monolithic Maison he built, but one person who committed
Some time ago, I was presented a book that the publisher Mack thought might be of interest to me and our readers here at In Sight. It is a slim volume with few photos. At first, I thought, “No, it’s not for us.” But as the weeks have passed, and after cracking open the book and starting to read it, I haven’t been able to shake it. The events of the past week brought it roaring back to mind. So here we are now. I’m writing about it and sharing it with you.
The book in question is titled, “The Parameters of Our Cage.” It’s a compilation of correspondence between the acclaimed photographer Alec Soth and Chris Fausto Cabrera, an inmate at the Minnesota Correctional Facility in Rush City.
In January 2020,