03 May 2018

Through a Different Lens

Through a Different Lens
Lou Jacobs
Donald Albrecht (co-editor of Only in New York) and Sean Corcoran curated Through a Different Lens: Stanley Kubrick Photographs, an exhibition opening today at the Museum of the City of New York (MCNY). They also edited the exhibition's lavish and comprehensive catalogue, published in folio format by Taschen.

Stanley Kubrick became a staff photographer for Look magazine in 1945, straight out of high school. Five years later, he quit in order to become a director. I have compiled a complete list of Kubrick's published photographs, which is included in the Stanley Kubrick Archive and was reprinted in Fotografie 1945-1950.

The images in Through a Different Lens are drawn from the MCNY's collection of thousands of Kubrick's photos. (Stanley Kubrick at Look Magazine is also based on the MCNY's collection.) The photographs are almost exclusively black-and-white, though there is a colour portrait of the clown Lou Jacobs. In their introduction, the editors argue that Kubrick's photography "honed his skills as both a storyteller and an image maker, albeit through a different lens."

There have been several previous catalogues of Kubrick's photographs: Ladro di sguardi, Still Moving Pictures, Drama and Shadows, Fotografie 1945-1950, Visioni e finzioni. A limited selection also appears in Art by Film Directors. To a greater or lesser extent, these surveys all have similar limitations: they decontextualise the images (presenting them out of sequence, either retitled or untitled), and they recycle a limited selection of photographs.

Through a Different Lens is the first book on Kubrick's photography to avoid these shortcomings. It includes more than 300 photographs, making it the most extensive collection in print. The arrangement is chronological, and Look publication details are also included.