Burlesque and Cabaret
Photographs by Lear Levin
October 14, 2014-December 4, 2014
Opening reception Oct 18, 2014 7 – 8:30 PM
Members talk Meg Birnbaum 6:15 PM
Lear Levin has been shooting photographs since he bought is first camera – a Speed Graphic – with money from his paper route as a child.
After graduating from The University of Southern California’s Cinema and Drama Schools, he became a director of award winning documentaries, short films and (literally) thousands of TV commercials, one of which, for Prince Spaghetti, is the longest running in the history of the medium. His motion picture film work is preserved in the permanent collection of such institutions as The Museum of Modern Art in New York and The George Eastman House.
A series of Levin’s photographs, Burlesque and Cabaret, is featured in the Hall Gallery of the Griffin Museum October 14, 2014 through December 4, 2014. An opening reception with the artist is October 18, 2014, 7-8:30 p.m.
“I used to be a regular visitor to The Old Howard Theater in Boston’s Scully Square in the 1950’s and I snuck into the Globe Theater in Atlantic City New Jersey prior that time when I was only 13 years old,” says Lear Levin. “During my college days I frequented The New Follies Theater on Main Street in Los Angeles, where as an aspiring filmmaker, I often hung out backstage with the cast in the hope of some day making a film on Burlesque. I never did make that film. However, when I retired from motion pictures and took up still photography, Platinum and 3-Color Gum Printing, it seemed natural for me to finally explore what the colorful backstage life might have looked like during the old days of Burlesque.”
While directing from the Bayous to Bangladesh for film and television, Levin also continued his personal vision of fine art photography. His series, “Burlesque and Cabaret” is an evocation of Weimar Berlin and Backstage at ‘Minsky’s,” New York City, circa 1930’s. Levin’s regard for past as well as the his feel for archival, textural printing techniques continues in his darkroom where he finishes his work using methods such as Gum Dichromate and Platinum/Palladium to create the hand-made images reminiscent of late nineteenth and early twentieth century photography. His three and four-color gum dichromate and platinum/palladium prints will be featured at the Griffin Museum.
Levin has exhibited his work at Iris Gallery in Boston, Moss & Moss Gallery in San Francisco, Davis Orton Gallery and in a group show at CCCA gallery, Hudson NY.
Meg Birnbaum will give a members’ talk at 6:15 PM before the exhibit opening on October 18, 2014 at 7 PM.