Joseph Maida: A Third Look
In A Third Look, Joseph Maida reflects on Lee Friedlander’s nudes from the 1970’s and 80’s, reinterpreting this series as a cutting edge homage both to Friedlander, the modernist titan of photography, and to LGBTQIA+ bodies across gender and identity spectra.
When curator John Szarkowski first presented Friedlander’s nudes in a solo exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in 1991, he wrote that "the qualities of generosity and openness, and the habit of continual exploration—of logical extemporization enlivened by an unassuming audacity" make Friedlander’s nudes so "richly and rewardingly complex." Maida, viewing the traits of openness, exploration, extemporization, and audacity as queerness itself, reimagined Friedlander’s nudes by picturing different bodies in A Third Look to converse with Friedlander’s. Maida calls their feminist reclamation of history "a visual queering of modernist photography, providing a visible reconciliation of where the canon of art photography has historically allowed us to see" with the broader spectrum of the human nude.