At Westwood, James Dean Mugs for Roy Schatt

THE DAILY PIC: The actor wants to hide behind a mask; the photog tries to strip it.


THE DAILY PIC (#1338): This contact sheet of James Dean, shot in 1954, is from a show of Roy Schatt’s photos that are now at Westwood Gallery in New York. Not only does its 12-image format reveal Dean as the actor he was, trying on one face after another, but it also helps explode the idea that any single photo can be all that decisive in recording its moment. Through dilution, at very least, a contact sheet undoes the authority of single photographs; the sheet of images reveals that every moment holds within it an infinite number of equally accurate, authoritative visions. Portrait sessions don’t peel away surfaces; they turn them out by the dozen. (Photo Roy Schatt CMG, courtesy Westwood Gallery, NY)

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