How often do you go to a photography exhibition and spend most of the time giggling to yourself?
Chris Beetles gallery in London is showing 48 images from Elliot Erwitt’s 50-year career and I challenge anyone not to raise a smile in this space. The exhibition is full of quirky and serendipitous moments that show the absurdity that can be found within everyday life.
Erwitt’s talent is in making this imagery look easy, of course it anything but. With the rise of mobile phone cameras and Instagram you expect to see this type of imagery more often, but we never do. These moments remain the realm the Leica packing legends.
Dogs feature heavily throughout Erwitt’s work, man’s best friend providing some surreal and amusing moments:
His more serious assignment work is also on display, portraits of Che Guevara and John F Kennedy:
Although skilled images, these much-photographed subjects do not hold their own when compared to spectacle of the street.
For me the most moving photograph is Brighton 1966. An image of a local legend standing in the sea. Again there is a skilful simplicity, the image only has two elements an old man, fully clothed but in shorts standing defiantly in the sea staring down ocean, as if challenging it a duel. Powerful stuff.
48 works sounds extensive but the quality of works on display is so great your left wanting more, because with someone this talented even their reject images are worth seeing.
This show won’t change your life but it will make you laugh and that’s cheap medicine.
Elliot Erwitt at Chris Beetles runs until the 12th of October, for more information: