The Radical Eye

Link to the Tate’s website which shows a four minute film of Elton John explaining how he started his collection and why photography has become a big part of his life.

It was amazing to see so many different photographs in one area, and what was interesting  was that all the images were black and white prints. It was also incredible to see the original prints of images which are spread so widely online. Being able to see the size and also print quality (contrast etc.) they were meant to be seen in. The photographs were split into different rooms, portraits were in one and continued onto, experimentations and bodies the third room had documents, then objects, perspectives and abstractions were in the last room.

Some of the photographs were displayed in the same way they were in Elton John’s own apartment. From the short video shown in the exhibition and on the Tate Modern’s website you can see that the walls are completely covered with the photographs. He even displays two of Man Ray’s images on the ceiling of his bed so he can see them in bed.

A couple of my favourite images from the exhibition was Glass Tears by Man Ray, and Migrant Mother by Dorothea Lange. I’ve seen many different ‘copies’ of these images so to see them in real life was very interesting. What fascinated me about Migrant Mother was that the focus is on the woman’s shoulder rather than her eyes, whereas online and other forms of the image I’ve seen I’ve never noticed this detail. Glass Tears however was a different experience, apart from the contrast, physically it didn’t look majorly different in the flesh, but it was still interesting to see the size of which it was printed. It was originally photographed for an advertisement so this isn’t the way it was intended to be displayed, but has become an iconic fashion image.

Overall I found the exhibition very inspiring and amazing to see so many diverse images in one space.


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