UTICA – “Terrible Beauty,” an exhibit of monumental sculptures by an Oneonta-area artist, Richard Friedberg, will open Saturday, Feb. 27, at the Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute Museum of Art in Utica.
Developing a novel aluminum mesh as his raw material, Friedberg’s nine sculptures in the show are based on such catastrophes as BP’s Deepwater Horizon wellhead blowout in the Gulf of Mexico and the Fukushima nuclear accident and resulting tsunami.
LECTURE – 6:30-8 p.m. Learn the basics of converting lawn to a wildflower meadow from OCCA/Mohican Farm Be Informed Lecture Series. Mohican Farm, 7207 State Route 80, Cooperstown. Info, occainfo.org/signup/, 607-282-4087.
UTICA – Even if his name doesn’t ring a bell, it is unlikely you have not seen McCurry’s work. Many of the 60 works, spanning three decades of work over six continents, will be easily recognized. Entering the exhibit you are met by the penetrating gaze of his most famous photo, of Sharbat Gula, or, as the world first knew her, “Afghan Girl”.
After she appeared on the June 1985 cover of National Geographic, her photo became as iconic and recognizable as the Mona Lisa. It is considered the most famous portrait in the world, and with good reason. Standing before this piece, you feel like it is not only looking at you, it is looking into you.
Her eyes fixed in an expression that seems to change from fearful, to predatory, to vulnerable and beyond. The color of the eyes mirror the green of her shirt and the wall behind her is contrasted by her red shawl. It is a perfect photograph. It captures the moment that two cultures, alien and strange to each other, are locked in observing the other for the first time. And, like all great art, it makes us reflect and question ourselves and our place in the world.