Outsiders, at the Art Gallery of Ontario

It probably comes as no surprise to anyone that I would in no way consider myself an expert or even all that knowledgable when it come to the world or art and photography, but that doesn’t mean that I can’t learn.

So when the AGO invited me out to check out their latest exhibition, Outsiders: American Photography and Film 1950’s – 1980’s I had to make a special visit and learn and see as much as I could.

Curated by Sophie Hackett, AGO Associate Curator of Photography and Jim Shedden, AGO Manager of Publishing, Outsiders features a collection of iconic, memorable, groundbreaking, and in some cases somewhat shocking photographs by Diane Arbus, Nan Goldin, Danny Lyon, Gordon Parks, Garry Winogrand and over 170 snapshots taken by visitors to Casa Susanna which I learned along the way was a safe haven for cross-dressers in the 1950s and ’60s.

Showcased alongside these images are experimental films by Kenneth Anger, Marie Menken, Shirley Clarke, Robert Frank and Alfred Leslie.

The moment you walk into the exhibit you are taken back to a very different time, an era when there were much fewer ways to make a statement of change, a time when you couldn’t go online and find like minded people, a time when people either found themselves on the outside looking in, or what seemed for the most part in this case, people on the outside that wanted to capture, feature and showcase life through a different view, shot through a lens.

Determined to showcase the complexity and diversity of life as they saw it, the photographers and filmmakers featured in the Art Gallery of Ontario’s searing new exhibition challenged and changed the dominant perception of American life with their often controversial images.

With more than 300 photographs and 5 films featured in this major exhibition present unforgettable portraits of individuals both at odds with and united across four turbulent decades, including musicians, protestors, cross-dressers, bike gangs, politicians, the working poor, and socialites.

Here is just a peek at the this amazing offering from the AGO:

Diane Arbus

Casa Susanna


So if you’re in Toronto over the coming month I would highly advise you visit and check it out for yourself to see the full offering, so you too can delve into the mind, the lives, and the struggles that was and is the Outsiders.

For more on this amazing exhibition and the AGO visit there website today.



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