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Matinee: Accra Shepp's '2021 (At Last)' Share This on LinkedIn   Tweet This   Forward This

9 January 2021

Saturday matinees long ago let us escape from the ordinary world to the island of the Swiss Family Robinson or the mutinous decks of the Bounty. Why not, we thought, escape the usual fare here with Saturday matinees of our favorite photography films?

So we're pleased to present the 287th in our series of Saturday matinees today: Accra Shepp's 2021 (At Last).

New York photographer Accra Shepp was stuck at home in March when it occurred to him to walk seven blocks to the hospital to take portraits of the nurses and ambulance drivers who were trying to deal with the first outbreak of Covid-19 in the city.

Things went downhill from there.

But Shepp kept taking portraits in the city using his Rollieflex and making prints on his Omega enlarger. He captured delivery drivers, grocery store clerks, restauranteurs, kids, artists, protestors, everyone.

When the year was over, he put together this 4:55 video review as well as a book The Covid Journals. It turned out to be not just a collection of his portraits but a portrait of the year.

He talked about his work in this 2:48 video by Christie's:

Shepp was born in New York City in 1962, graduated from Princeton in 1984 and earned a Masters from NYU. He's exhibited widely and is a senior Fulbright Fellow. His work is in a variety of collections including the Museum of Modern Art, The Art Institute of Chicago and The Victoria and Albert Museum.


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