Andrew Blauvelt’s Work 2

In 2015, Andrew Blauvelt curated an exhibit for the Walker Art Center entitled Hippie Modernism: The Struggle for Utopia. In this exhibit, it examines the connections between art, architecture, and design from the 1960s to the 1970s. During this time was when a lot of artists were trying to find new inspiration for their work besides just the world that they lived in. In doing this, they tried using different mediums and expanding on their knowledge of technology, ecology, and politics. With this goal in mind, they were able to critique how they saw society in their time.

One of the pieces in this exhibit that stood out to me most was of Jimi Hendrix. The photograph was modified by the the use of reflective film. It gave an illusion like he was underwater or experiencing psychedelics, which I think may have been the reason why Blauvelt included this image in his exhibit. In this image specifically, you can see that it’s very avant-garde. The distortions of the image, in my opinion, is what makes it even more interesting to look at. The color palate of the image is also perfect; the muddy background is subtle against the bright red of Jimi Hendrix’s jacket that makes you focus on him, but you still want to look around at the pops of light blue in the image.

Ira Cohen: Jimi Hendrix, 1968, color photograph from the Mylar Chamber



Discussion — One Response

  • Amaya Al-Mussawir 04/13/2022 on 7:53 PM

    Hey Safiya-

    I am a huge fan of the psychedelic era, not only for the super cool style and incredible music but also for the massive political upheavals and major shift in thinking that occurred during that time. I feel like it was in this time frame that mankind really understood that all that is in front of them is not all there is (of course, psychedelics really helped speed that process along). Jimi is such a perfect candidate for a photo like this. He’s both ethereal and so worldly, and the mix in color palette really suggests this also. The effect on the film is also so unique and perfectly encapsulates the overarching idea of the time- take what you know and breathe new life into it.

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