Bryan Adams photography is candid, mythic, iconic

JOHN BRANDENBURG
For The Oklahoman
Modified: March 27, 2013 at 6:19 pm •  Published: March 27, 2013

It probably took a celebrity, and one with a good camera and a good eye, to create the candid pictures of other celebrities — on their own terms, but also on his — in a show of very large photos by musician Bryan Adams.

A Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter who has sold more than 100 million records, Adams’ “Exposed” show is on view at Oklahoma Contemporary (formerly City Arts Center), 3000 Pershing Blvd.

Born in Canada in 1959, Adams has compared photography to songwriting, noting that “it is very easy to write songs, but … very difficult to write good songs.”

“It is quite easy to take pictures, however it is difficult and demanding to take great photographs,” Adams said in a press release for the current show of 41 photos, selected from his book, “Exposed.”

Particularly impressive is his ability and adaptability in meeting his own expectations and those of his subjects in the collaborative act of the photograph, whether the resulting image is low key and candid, or mythic and iconic.

Fitting the “iconic” category nicely is his 2008 black-and-white picture of “Sir Mick Jagger,” turning to look hard at the camera, with his arms raised, his legs cut off, as if he were jumping in space, or gyrating during a rock concert.

Viewed almost as a piece of human sculpture — made up of craggy features, bald head and expressive body language — is actor Ben Kingsley, sitting in an arm chair with knees pulled up, staring into space, in a 2010 photo.

Looking back at us with a lit cigarette in her open red lips, wearing a sleeveless black and white dress, in Adams’ 2007 color picture, “Lindsay Lohan” is a striking figure, indeed, whether or not you are one of her fans.

Even more of a glamorous femme fatale is “Daphne Guinness” in Adams’ 2010 picture of her in London, sitting back in a streamlined modern chair, wearing a black see-through dress and a futuristic lace hat and veil.

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