Through a Different Lens: Stanley Kubrick Photographs of the NYC Subway

Through a Different Lens: Stanley Kubrick Photographs of the NYC Subway at the Museum of the City of New York

Through a Different Lens: Stanley Kubrick Photographs of the NYC Subway

Through a Different Lens: Stanley Kubrick Photographs, a photography exhibition exploring the iconic director’s formative years as a staff photographer at Look magazine between 1945-1950 and revealing the foundations of his creative transformation from photojournalist to cinematic legend, comes to The Museum of the City of New York, opening to the public on Thursday, May 3, and remain on view through October 2018.

Stanley Kubrick’s early career as a photojournalist for Look magazine is a revelation for most people who know him only as a filmmaker. In 1945, the future director of such films as 2001: A Space Odyssey and A Clockwork Orange was a teenager with an uncanny photographic sensibility who was already scouting human-interest stories for Look magazine.

Through a Different Lens: Stanley Kubrick Photographs tells the story of how a 17-year old amateur photographer from the Bronx took the first steps towards becoming one of the most important film directors of the 20th century. The exhibition will display over 120 photographs by Kubrick from the Museum’s extensive Look magazine archive, all captured during his tenure as a staff photographer between 1945 and 1950. In his photographs, many unpublished, Kubrick explored the grit and glamor of the city, turning his lens on the nightclubs, street scenes, and sporting events that made up his first assignments, and capturing the pathos of ordinary life with a sophistication that belied his young age.

 

Alec Baldwin on Stanley Kubrick
Alec Baldwin recently sat down with the curators of Through a Different Lens to reflect on the influence of Stanley Kubrick's early years as a photographer on his work as a motion picture director.



Turning his camera on his native city, Kubrick found inspiration in New York’s characters and settings, sometimes glamorous, sometimes gritty. He produced work that was far ahead of his time and focused on themes that would inspire him through his creative life. Most importantly, his photography laid the technical and aesthetic foundations for his cinematography: he learned through the camera’s lens to be an acute observer of human interactions and to tell stories through images in dynamic narrative sequences. Kubrick’s early years at Look proved to be the start of his celebrated career as one of the 20th century’s great artists; it was a time when he honed his skills as both a storyteller and an image maker, albeit through a different lens.

Through a Different Lens: Stanley Kubrick Photographs of the NYC Subways at the Museum of the City of New York

 

Through a Different Lens first introduces visitors to four key themes that shaped Kubrick’s early work as a photographer and would pop up time and again throughout his career. The show then proceeds chronologically through his time at Look magazine with assignments published and unpublished, framing Kubrick as an artist investigating the powerful narrative capabilities of photography and showcasing his aptitude for translating an individual’s complex life into visual form. The exhibition culminates with an examination of the direct connection between Kubrick the photographer and Kubrick the director.

Founded in 1923 as a private, nonprofit corporation, the Museum of the City of New York celebrates and interprets the city, educating the public about its distinctive character, especially its heritage of diversity, opportunity, and perpetual transformation. The Museum connects the past, present, and future of New York City, and serves the people of the city as well as visitors from around the world through exhibitions, school and public programs, publications, and collections.

Through a Different Lens: Stanley Kubrick Photographs of the NYC Subways at the Museum of the City of New York