Sunday, January 27, 2008

Living Long, and Prospering

An Art Info interview with actor-director Leonard Nimoy and his wife Susan discusses how they’ve become avid collectors of modern art since 1987. Susan is a trustee of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, and the Nimoys have contributed to the MOCA’s exhibitions of emerging artists. Along with a discussion of their love of collecting, the interview features a selection of Leonard Nimoy’s own photography, which I found interesting in its almost classical approach. One photo from The Borghese Series (above) shows a hooded figure that seems almost from another planet. Didn’t Spock mind meld with this guy on Rigel VII?

Nimoy’s photography reminded me greatly of that of Edward Weston, especially photographs such as Nimoy’s Dance Nudes Series (above) and his Egg Series. Clearly, Nimoy knows the history of photography and appreciates figures such as Weston. Another photo, featuring a pair of disembodied hands, pays homage to Alfred Stieglitz, who did a similar study of the hands of the painter Georgia O’Keeffe.

Nimoy’s photography seems most interesting in his unique Self-Portraits, such as the double-exposure study shown above. In another self-portrait, Nimoy places his face, full of the marks of age and experience, in the foreground, while a nude woman lays in the background, slightly out of focus. It’s a fascinating study of the contrast of age and youth. I’ll confess to being a Trekkie and a devout follower of the original series. Along with Brent Spiner as Data in The Next Generation, Nimoy’s Mr. Spock always struck me as the most fascinating, complex character, thanks mostly to the ability of the actor behind the makeup. Nimoy’s autobiographies—I Am Not Spock and I Am Spock (yes, I've read both)–demonstrated that he was more than just a typecast actor. His photography proves that Leonard Nimoy truly has an artist’s soul.

1 comment:

Dark Master said...

art by Leonard Nimoy! Fantastic post, and great title! I'm looking forward to seeing him in the new movie.