If you’ve never been to Taste of Chicago, don’t worry; you’ll be right there in the thick of it when you see Joe Sterling’s black-and-white photographs of the gustatory festival, taken between 1988 and 1990; and, if you’re a devotee of the affair, you’ll be brought back to the experience of being engulfed by hordes of fellow citizens and tourists snarfing up corn on the cob, watermelon, and meats and sweets of all varieties. Sterling’s images work so well, because they are so intimate in their depictions of a mass phenomenon. His strategy of using a panoramic lens, which widens the visual field horizontally and shortens it vertically, gives viewers a look that is very close to what they actually would see if they were there—a gaping mouth taking a big bite, or a tangle of legs punctuated by a girl intent on consuming her victuals kneeling in their midst. There is not a hint of condescension in Sterling’s images; he was a man of the people who exulted in the joy of getting down to the basics of life without reserve. (Michael Weinstein)
Through October 27 at Alibi Fine Art, 1966 West Montrose
Leave a Reply
You must be logged in to post a comment.