Reviews, profiles and news about art in Chicago

Review: Michael Childers/Harold Washington Library Center

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Arianna Huffington


Michael Childers knows that the works of even illustrious writers overshadow their personalities, and he is out to shift the balance by shooting black-and-white portraits of the literary lions and lionesses to “reveal what lies beyond their famous written works.” In most cases, he might have left well enough alone. Childers represents his subjects in conventional celebrity headshots, with a few scenarios thrown in. As a result, if the writers are schooled in their images, they trot them out; and if they are not, they look like so many aspiring actors. Sometimes the mold is broken, and that is when the subject overpowers the photographer. Nobody does that better than Arianna Huffington, who is fully in command of the image she presents. Squeaky clean and elegant in a stylish suit, she looks straight at the viewer with big luminous eyes, and sports a soft yet tight and obviously studied smile. She has made herself the archetype of power and poise. (Michael Weinstein)

Through February 3 at the Harold Washington Library Center, 400 South State

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