September 2014

Arne Svenson, The Neighbors #11, 2012 © Arne Svenson, Courtesy Julie Saul Gallery, New York

Tell us what you think about this picture.

The Prying Eye of the Public Lens

A greater cynic than I might argue that Arne Svenson was working for the state when making photographs of his neighbors. One might suggest this not because there is any inherent value, lest any valuable information about the individuals within the snooping shots, but rather, because the brouhaha that erupted around the exhibition of Neighbors at the Julie Saul Gallery was a distorting and damaging version of the ongoing conversation about privacy in our society. If it had been designed as such, the rollout of Neighbors operated as a perfect decoy; a wonderful distraction from the more pressing discussions needed about persistent, widespread, and more invasive surveillance by the state.

Svenson might argue that his work turns people toward larger issues of privacy and relationships between the state and its citizens. For the purposes of this essay, I don’t wish to be so generous. Defiantly, I spin on…

I find this piece unsettling. I live in an urban setting. Viewing this image makes me wonder wh...

I love the peacefulness of the subject. Relax, recharge. The giraffe adds playfulness

The voyeurism of this piece bothers me. It is as if I'm prying into my sad neighbor's business. ...