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Abbey Drucker


Google informs me that photographer Abbey Drucker has an exciting life. If you think anything could possibly aspire to be more exciting than shooting such luminaries as Chingy and Paris Hilton, you might be more envious of her work on the album cover for The National's 'Boxer', her liaison with Interpol's Paul Banks or the bewildering information that at least one sugar-hyped blogger claims that her 'moral barometer' is founded on asking herself the question, 'Would Abbey Drucker Laugh?'.

As a rule, I would guess that the standard answer to that question is an understated 'No...'. Extensive galleries of her work - though not, from a quick browse of her client list, as extensive as you might have expected - on her portfolio website show a very feminine approach to the tapering feline silhouettes of contemporary fashion culture, simultaneously candid and flattering. Tousled hair, smudged eyeliner and various states of undress give a sense of unthreatening voyeurism, cliché but not overdone. Her subjects seem genuinely unaware of her presence in the room; the sexual tension of fashion photography is clearly lacking, for better or worse, and the viewer is a diminuitive contribution to the bustling activity. Only the teenagers she photographs snarl and pout into the frame, radiating unfocussed lust and spiritual angst. Many scenes demonstrate an effective, if sentimental, nostalgia for a 'vintage' era; noir influences and pageant beauty are enhanced with grainy monochrome and light cross-processing. In a sense she captures the real traces in society of the scenes staged by Gregory Crewdson and recreated time and time again - Vanity Fair's Hitchcock spread being the most interesting recent example.

Her two 'personal' galleries, unfortunately, do reveal a certain lack in her sense of humour. She may not be pretentious, driven more by an appreciation of beauty than by the need to 'represent', but there is clearly something a little bland about her ambitions. The images are quietly quirkly, sweetly diminuitive, not in the least controversial. The tired humour of a man with a hot dog suggestively position on a plate in his lap and a row of beach joggers showing off their variously tanned behinds in an unimpressive array of identical thongs is nostalgic in a more tacky, dated sense, refusing to toy with modern themes or standards.

Abbey Drucker is, without a doubt, an asset to the industry and the creator of highly worthy images for the public domain. Sadly, this may say more about the industry than about the creative significance of her work. Essentially, in the 50s or the 80s - where she clearly feels more at home - her portfolio might well have been commonplace.

also on aS.blogspot

3 comments:

Anners Scribonia said...

I'm a "sugar-hyped" blogger? That is awesome. Actually you may have misread the sarcasm just a wee bit. It is a joke. Don't be bewildered.

You're probably right, though. The answer would be an understand "no".

:)

Anners Scribonia said...

* oops. understand = understated.

*konstanza* said...

Abbey make me feel like i like her,,,specially on the tour diary or hollywood shit..and you are right she's kinda retro..but then on her personal thing.i dont like her at all.