The Beatle who saddled rock with pop, Paul McCartney sprouted Wings in his later career and then took off on his own. Bill Bernstein flew with him on his 2002-2003 world tour, armed with an adoring camera that recorded every triumphal and madcap moment in vivid color and dreamy black and white. Bernstein knows how to take the iconic money shot that reaffirms McCartney’s celebrity text of an unassuming rock god, yet he allows in a subversive scene that deconstructs the other thirty-nine images in the show. We see middle-aged McCartney, suffering from laryngitis and appearing to be at death’s door, holding two inhalers as he takes orders from his doctor who clasps his own throat in a gesture of medical sympathy. The photo was shot to prove that McCartney’s doctor had forced him to cancel his gig in Sheffield—supposedly the only one at which he had ever failed to perform. (Michael Weinstein)
Bill Bernstein shows at Inspire Fine Art, 435 East Illinois, (312)595-9475, through December 31, 2006.