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"Altered States Of America: It's A Great Party, A Retrospective of Photographs by Nat Finkelstein"
2000-08-09 until 2000-09-24
Photographer's Gallery
London, , UK

It was a great party; a speed freaks dream. The American fantasia full of fun, frolic and forget-me-nots. Some of the guests left in limousines, some in ambulances, others never found the door. It was plain old-fashioned heterosexual you-girl-me-boy-lets-fuck sex that got me there. I watched pop die, I saw punk being born. I came I saw I observed I enjoyed. Nat Finkelstein, 1999 The Photographers Gallery is proud to present the first retrospective of the significant American photographer, Nat Finkelstein.

Brooklyn-born Finkelstein studied under Alexey Brodovitch and later worked as a photojournalist for the picture agency Black Star, recording the political activities of the sub-culture of New York City.

Through hustling magazine assignments on Warhols Factory in the mid Sixties, he produced candid and often critical images of the emergence of Pop culture. The result was an extraordinary two year account of the dreamers, the weird, the hopefuls and the famous - Bob Dylan, The Velvets, Edie Sedgwick, Allen Ginsberg, Salvador Dali, Nico and of course Warhol himself. Greil Marcus describes the seminal scene of Warhol presenting Dylan with one of his Elvis paintings: The real winner was Finkelstein, who came away with a perfectly framed back-shot of Warhol and Dylan facing each other as Warhols Flaming Star Elvises, their guns drawn, aim blank-eyed at both - a concatenation of American iconography unmatched in this century.

After his break with Warhol, Finkelstein virtually rejected photography for political activities for almost twenty years. However, he is today as prolific an artist as ever, documenting the contemporary sub-culture of clubs and carnivals.

Finkelstein continues to develop his on-going series, Girlfriends, in which he documents and records his passion for women: a passion which has its roots in his relationships with his friend, the chanteuse Nico, and Warhol superstar Edie Sedgwick. These compelling, acidic-coloured images ooze a seedy glamour which is both intimate and intoxicating. Finkelstein continues to portray an age of free-spirited sexuality through these raw and overtly sexy images.

Finkelsteins ongoing work with photography is continually enhanced by the incorporation of new media and video.

All work is available for purchase, with prices starting from 550 plus VAT.

IMAGE:
Nat Finkelstein,
Amber Struts her Stuff, 1999


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