Terrific press for “Sport: Iooss and Leifer”

Friday was the opening night of “Sport: Iooss and Leifer” at the Annenberg Space for Photography, and what a spectacular evening it was. So many people turned out (including photographer/actress Alexandra Hedison) that it was shoulder-to-shoulder, with the many pro athletes in attendance towering above the rest of this. They look so much smaller when you’re watching a game on TV, but in person… This, for example, is a life-size photo Walter took of Michael Jordan’s hand. It’s a wonder you can even see the ball when he holds it.

michael_and_me

My hand looks like a child's compared with Michael Jordan's…

 

A large contingent from Stockland Martel was there to celebrate Walter: Bill and Maureen, of course, as well as photo agents Dana Eudy and Emily Leonardo and photographers Matthew Rolston, Jeff Lipsky, Kwaku Alston, and Lauren Greenfield. (Doug Menuez was wrapping up a 10-day shoot in town and preparing for his presentation tomorrow at TED in San Francisco, so he couldn’t make it.)

dana

That's Dana, with Walter to her right.

bill

Walter and Bill.

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Today’s Lens Blog at NYTimes.com features the exhibition, and writer Nick Loomis interviewed both Walter and Neil Leifer. An excerpt:

“Muhammad Ali made a hero out of every single journalist,” Leifer said. “Whether you were a writer, a photographer, a television commentator, you got to cover Ali and your boss thought you were a genius. The genius was really Ali.”

Jordan was an equally photogenic subject for Iooss. “It was like traveling with a Biblical character with Michael because everyone in the world, at his peak, wanted to be with Michael and meet him in shake his hand,” Iooss said. “And he had everything, you know, for a photographer. It was like photographing a male model. I always compared him to Elle MacPherson” (whom Iooss has also photographed for the S.I. swimsuit issue).

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The blog PhotoInduced also interviewed both Walter and Neil—on video—and promises the clips will be posted soon. In the meantime, they’ve got some great photos of the two sport-photography legends at the Annenberg, including this one:

 

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Walter Iooss and Neil Leifer at the Annenberg. Photography by Damon Webster.

And here’s an excerpt from a story by Style Section L.A.:

The dapper Iooss (pronounced “yose”) is a star in the world of sports photography, a rigorous discipline, one ferociously competitive and snubbed by many high art devotees. Which is why The Annenberg Space for Photography’s upcoming exhibition of photographs by Iooss and fellow legendary sports photographer Neil Leifer, which opens Saturday, is refreshing, even for Angelenos who have never watched a baseball game with jaws agape at Barney’s Beanery—this writer included. In a sporting world of ego and seven-figure salaries forever spiraling upwards, the two artists manage to capture fleeting moments of honesty and beauty with startling regularity….

The Annenberg recorded video of the event. If I can get my (small) hands on it, I’ll post it here. Meanwhile, some more great coverage:

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Los Angeles Times Sunday Entertainment section: “Need a knockout photo? They’re game.”

YouthNoise.com: “Iooss & Leifer hit Los Angeles.”

Mitchell & Ness blog: “The Sport of Photography.”

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One Comment

  1. Posted 11/24/2009 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for the kind words, great photo credit and link back.It’s a great exhibit.
    Cheers!
    Damon Webster


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