exhibitions

Posted in Behind the Scenes, J. Paul Getty Museum, Prints and Drawings

Behind the Scenes of a Special Exhibition at the Getty

Maxime LaLanne / Castle Overlooking a River
Gift of Richard A. Simms.

How a drawings show takes shape. More»

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Posted in J. Paul Getty Museum

Getty Museum Honored for Exhibitions and Acquisitions

Installation view of "Power and Pathos: Bronze Sculpture," at the Getty Museum in 2015.

Getty Museum staff take home honors for exhibitions and programs in 2015. More»

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Posted in Behind the Scenes, Conservation, J. Paul Getty Museum

Cleaning 700 Square Feet of Precious Tapestry

Weavers conserve a tapestry at the Gobelins Manufactory
Photo courtesy of the Gobelins Manufactory

Tapestries once owned by Louis XIV receive a high-tech cleaning. More»

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Posted in J. Paul Getty Museum, Prints and Drawings

A Double-Sided Drawing Brings a Baron to Life

Detail of face of Portrait of Charles Benjamin de Langes de Montmirail, Baron de Lubieres / Liotard
Pastel on the verso (back) of the drawing is visible in the baron's skin tones

The hidden artistry of an 18th-century pastel. More»

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Posted in Behind the Scenes, J. Paul Getty Museum, Paintings

Framing a Frames Exhibition

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How to hang a frame. More»

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Posted in Art, Exhibitions and Installations, Manuscripts and Books

Journey to Marquette

Marquette 2

A curator’s visit to see the French town that one of our precious manuscripts was made in. More»

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Posted in Art, J. Paul Getty Museum, Paintings

J.M.W. Turner Exhibition Open till 9pm on Its Final Day

Installation view of J.M.W. Turner: Painting Set Free at the Getty Center
Inside the exhibition at the Getty. More photos on Flickr

Last chance! Exhibition of J.M.W. Turner to remain open late on Sunday, May 24. More»

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Posted in Art, Photographs, Film, and Video

Larry Sultan’s Visions of Suburbia

Screen Shot 2014-12-23 at 2.53.57 PM

On Larry Sultan, intimacy, and photography. More»

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Posted in Art, Exhibitions and Installations, Photographs, Film, and Video

“We Are All the Same”: A Conversation with Josef Koudelka

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What makes an artist? Questions for the great Czech photographer. More»

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Posted in Art, Behind the Scenes, Exhibitions and Installations, Getty Center, Getty Villa

Fall 2014 at the Getty

The Devil’s Bagpipes, lithograph in Kartinki—voina russkikh s nemtsami, 1914.
The Devil’s Bagpipes, lithograph in Kartinki—voina russkikh s nemtsami, 1914.

What’s coming up this fall? Too much to miss. More»

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      A Chat with Photographer Tomoko Sawada

      A conversation about Japanese matchmaking traditions, self-portraiture, clothes, and identity.

      When did you start photographing yourself?
      I began making self-portraits when I was 19. It was an assignment for a photography class. I can’t even explain in Japanese why I liked them so much. It was instinctual. It’s as if I knew that this was going to be my style, that this is what I wanted to do. And I’m still doing it because I love the self-portrait, but I don’t know why. 

      What themes are you exploring in your work?
      I’m interested in the relationship between inside and outside. If you wear a sexy dress or if you wear kids clothes or casual clothes, people treat you differently. Even though you are you no matter what you wear. It’s that relationship that makes me think. 

      My new work is from when I was living in New York. When I was in New York, people didn’t think I was Japanese. Sometimes they thought I was Korean or Chines or Mongolian. Even Singaporean. It was funny, when I would go to the Japanese market, they would speak to me in English. When I went to the Korean market, they would speak to me in English again. I don’t seem to look Japanese outside of Japan. I was surprised because I think I look totally Japanese. It’s funny that people’s points of view are totally different.

      Could you talk a little about OMIAI, the series that represents a traditional Japanese matchmaking technique.
      OMIAI is a tradition that is somehow still working today. Usually, there is a matchmaker and photographs are exchanged before meeting. If both sides are interested, they can meet for lunch or dinner accompanied by their parents and steps for marriage proceed from there. In the old days, some people chose their marriage partner just through photographs, without even meeting each other. 

      When OMIAI was exhibited in Japan I saw people making various comments in from of the work. People would say things like, “she looks like a good cook; surely she would prepare delicious meals every day,” or “ this girl could be a perfect bride for my son,” or “I can tell she would not be a good housewife,” or “she’s such a graceful girl; she must be the daughter of a decent family.” Comments like that. 

      What was the process of making that work?
      I gained 10 pounds before I started taking the pictures, and in six months I lost forty pounds, because I wanted to look different in each photo. I wanted to change the way my legs looked. 

      Every weekend I went to the hair salon and put on a kimono. Then I went to the photo studio on the street in Japan. I would take a picture and then change my clothes to western dress. Then I would go to the studio again the next weekend. 

      Did you tell the photographer how you wanted it done?
      I told him I was an artist and wanted to make photographs with him. I told him to think that each weekend new girls would show up to make the OMIAI. I didn’t want him to think of me as the same girl who came every weekend. He understood the concept. 

      We had fun. While he was taking pictures, his wife would tell me how to lose weight. She gave me many tips.


      Tomoko Sawada’s work is on view at the Getty until February 21, 2016 in “The Younger Generation: Contemporary Japanese Photography”

      02/11/16

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