Richard Stanley: Neiman Marcus
Opening Night at
Neiman Marcus, 1979
I was fascinated by the energy of this event: so many people swirling out of the store into the porte cochère to find their drivers and cars (I happened to be one of the drivers) in the cavern of light carved out of the darkness on Roxbury Drive. Furs (in L.A.?), jewels, big hair (it was the ‘70s), perfume, bubbly, cigarettes… My blue-black chauffeur’s suit camouflaged me. I captured candid shots as though I were invisible, which, to the guests I was: just another callow, innocuous supernumerary. I was hidden in plain sight, the potential of which electrified me. I knew I was onto something sensational—the glitz made mundane—the arcane laid bare—even though, with film, I had to trust my instincts and keep shooting. “Flim is cheap,” I kept remembering. I shot long exposures with strobe introductions.
I pretended I knew what I was doing—that I was part of the scene, though I really wasn’t. But I knew what I was doing. Years later, I merged several images into lenticular prints that better than ever created the swirl I remembered: sequences and series of gestures at the control of the viewer.
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About Richard Stanley
Richard Stanley enjoys a longstanding interest in lensless photography. His images capture the seemingly, but not truly, random results of Google and iPhone searches. Other work explores the potential of the ubiquitous scanner by using it as a kind of light table to record botanical subjects and to create magazine page collages. The images range from hyper-realistic to surreal. He continues to document Los Angeles through his windshield views of the urbanscape. Current work reveals a fascination with the visual power of dolls, or “action figures”.
Stanley holds a Master of Fine Art in photography degree from Rochester Institute of Technology, where noted landscape photographer, the late John Pfahl, advised him on his thesis employing another form of lensless photography using homemade panoramic pinhole cameras and color film. Color contact prints from his homemade pinhole cameras range up to ten inches wide by seven feet long. His work is in the collections of the International Museum of Photography at George Eastman House, the Chicago Art Institute, the Cincinnati Art Institute and many private collections. He lives in Los Angeles.
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