The Unseen Eye

September 6, 2012 - September 30, 2012

"The Unseen Eye: A Life in Photographs and Other Digressions"
Saturday, September 8, 2012 at 2:00 PM

Special performance by W.M. Hunt in the Miller Room at the Portland Art Museum, free admission.

Eleanor, Chicago
1949
Gelatin Silver
9.5 x 8.75"

Image © Harry Callahan

Eye
Pigment Print

Image © Mickey Smith

Untitled, from Domestic Stages
2004
Type C-print
20x16"

Image © Carrie Levy

Soldier: Pry, 210 Days in Afghanistan
2005-06
Type C-print
16x20"

Image © Suzanne Opton

Neurasthenia #1
2001
Dry Plate Tintype
20x16"

Image © Susan Seubert

There's a Girl Under There
1967
Gelatin Silver
12 x 8.25"

Image © Seymour Snaer

The Unseen Eye

Photographs from the W.M. Hunt Collection

A photograph is light captured–as if by magic.

This exhibition has been put together to engage you, to provoke you, to excite you, and–most importantly–to delight you.

These are magical and heart stopping images of people in which the eyes are . . . unseen. The photographer is not capturing any essence of the sitter through their eyes. They are hidden from the viewer–closed, veiled, somehow obscured. Sometimes you may see an abstraction of a face–without eyes.

The best images are enigmatic; you are encouraged to let them tell stories that will be uniquely yours.
I like this quote from Albert Einstein: “The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good a dead; his eyes are closed.”

Why collect these? In truth, I don’t know, but photography changed my life. It gave me a life.
The works come from a larger collection that spans the history of photography. For Portland, I have chosen works made during my lifetime and in the US. Many of the artists have not been shown here before. This is an unusually large exhibition for Blue Sky so take your time. It is laid out like a dream. If you let yourself respond fully to a single image, then you will have had a perfect visit.

W.M. Hunt
September 2012

* * *

W.M. Hunt will be in Portland to present a special performance of his monologue “The Unseen Eye: A Life in Photographs and Other Digressions …” in the Miller Room of the Portland Art Museum at 2:00 PM on Saturday, September 8. This free event is presented in partnership with the Museum’s Photography Council.

“A Life …” is a monologue with projections and video, a rumination on Hunt’s many years of collecting and a life in photographs. Hunt began collecting during his early years as an actor. He has been a fundraiser (Photographers + Friends United Against AIDS, The Center for Photography at Woodstock and the W. Eugene Smith Memorial Fund), a dealer (Ricco/Maresca Gallery and his own Hasted Hunt), as well as a writer and teacher (ICP and School of Visual Arts).