Analogue Photoshop at the Met

09.14.12 Lily Streeter

Since the conception of the photograph, there has existed a certain desire to modify and tweak the mediums’s rendition of reality, to enhance the skyline, to lift the thigh, to add in a magical miniature fairy or whatnot. The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s latest photography exhibition entitled “Faking It: Manipulated Photography Before Photoshop” traces photo-doctoring through the ages, before the time of Photoshop and the blur tool on iPhoto.

“For early art photographers, the ultimate creativity lay not in the act of taking a photograph but in the subsequent transformation of the camera image into a hand-crafted picture,” the Met notes. The show features a range of artists from Richard Avedon to John Baldessari, all produced between the 1840s and the 1990s — a total of 200 works featuring anaolgue manipulation techniques such as multiple exposures, photomontage and overpainting. Please don’t walk around bragging about how quickly you could have done it in Photoshop.

“Faking It: Manipulated Photography Before Photoshop,” Opens Oct 11, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York