Tina Barney, Photographer of Blue Bloods, Joins Paul Kasmin Gallery

Barney photographs socialites, celebrities, and her own family.

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Tina Barney
Jill and Polly in the Bathroom (1987)
chromogenic color print
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Tina Barney
The Daughters (2002)
Chromogenic color print
orange room
Tina Barney
The Orange Room (1996)
chromogenic color print
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Tina Barney
Mr. and Mrs. Leo Castelli (1998)
chromogenic color print
The New House 2013 – 783
Tina Barney
The New House (2013)
gelatin Silver print
The Magician 2002 – 181
Tina Barney
The Magician (2002)
gelatin Silver print

Tina Barney, known for her lively and offbeat photographic portraits of friends, New York socialites, and her own well-to-do East Coast family in seemingly private moments, has just joined the stable at Paul Kasmin Gallery. Barney’s work is in the permanent collections of the the Museum of Modern Art, the George Eastman House, the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, Texas, the JPMorgan Chase Art Collection, and the Museum of Contemporary Photography. She was previously represented by Janet Borden, Inc., a New York gallery specializing in contemporary photography.

Despite having photographed subjects like fashion designer Tory Burch, R.E.M frontman Michael Stipe, and artist Carl Andre, Barney’s images always maintain an intimate, unpretentious air that makes the viewer feel as if they’re a fly on the wall. Arguably, her greatest achievements are the artfully disheveled portraits of blue-blooded family life inside the stately rooms of gated mansions—where, shockingly, things don’t look all that different from family life on the outside.

“People probably think of the upper class or of rich people [when they think of my art], which always disappoints me,” she told BOMB Magazine. “What the photographs are about is family, the interaction of people who come from the same family, usually inside their own home. I don’t know if people realize it’s my family or not.”

Kasmin’s decision to add Barney to the roster comes on the heels of a controversial but ultimately lucrative year for the photography market. In late December, Sotheby’s set the new world record for a photography auction, just days after the “world’s most expensive photograph” was allegedly sold for $6.5 million. The latter sale prompted cranky Guardian critic Jonathan Jones to argue that photography is not art but technology, and that “[the] record-setting picture typifies everything that goes wrong when photographers think they are artists.”  Respectfully, we disagree.

Congrats to Tina Barney!


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