Parting Shot: Leonard Freed | Visual Art | Hudson Valley | Chronogram Magazine

Arts & Culture » Visual Art

Parting Shot: Leonard Freed

by

comment
New York City, 1985, Leonard Freed
  • Leonard Freed
  • New York City, 1985

In the early 1960s, Leonard Freed snapped a photo of a Black American soldier standing at the Berlin Wall. Freed thought about the steadfastness with which the soldier defended America's vision of freedom abroad, and about the chokehold imposed by America on Black people at home. Compelled by the critical issue of race in America, he packed his bags and headed home, going on to shoot legendary photographs familiarizing the Black Freedom struggle for middle American readers of iconic publications like Life magazine.

Freed, who passed away seven years ago at his home in Garrison, shot photographs that focused on the lives of working people. His lens acted as a witness to injustice, inspiring empathy from the viewer rather than smug voyeurism.

New York City, 1985 documents another, absurdist side of Freed.

Showing a 17-foot boa constrictor partially wrapped around the bottom of an occupied stroller, the piece gains its humor from a disarming lack of seriousness, tempting the viewer to believe that the boa is taking the baby for a stroll.

Likely, Freed didn't know what his picture was about either. Speaking on the impact of his work, Freed said, "Photography is like life...What does it all mean? I don't know, you get an impression, a feeling." Whether capturing the March on Washington or a baby's stroll with a snake, Freed's work has a feeling of brutal honesty and great sensitivity. And, unlike many great artists, Freed leaves his viewers with an impression that is empowering to all.

"Leonard Freed, Man and Beast" will be exhibited at Gallery 66 NY in Cold Spring through September 2. An opening reception will be held on Friday, August 2 from 6 to 9pm. (845) 809-5838; Gallery66ny.com

Add a comment

Latest in Arts & Culture

  • Autumn Awaits: Activities to Enjoy This Season in Nyack
  • Autumn Awaits: Activities to Enjoy This Season in Nyack

    With high summer quickly transforming into crisp autumn in the Hudson Valley, residents and visitors alike are looking for Covid-safe ways to continue enjoying the best of what the region has to offer. And Nyack, with its diverse shopping, dining, and recreation set against a backdrop of the gorgeous Hudson River, is welcoming them with open arms.
    • Sep 23, 2021
  • The Intersection of Agriculture and Art
  • The Intersection of Agriculture and Art

    The Barns Art Center in East Fishkill Kicks Off Its Fall Season with a Harvest Festival and a Docuseries on Local Farmers
    • Sep 23, 2021
  • Design Destination: Field + Supply’s Fall MRKT Returns to Hutton Brickyards
  • Design Destination: Field + Supply’s Fall MRKT Returns to Hutton Brickyards

    Lovers of craft and design, rejoice! Field+Supply’s Fall MRKT is making a much-anticipated return to Hutton Brickyards, where its 2019 celebration of all things artisan-made drew about 9,000 visitors to peruse, purchase, and play on the Kingston waterfront. From high-end furniture and home decor to apothecary wares, ceramics, clothing, jewelry, and small-batch food and beverage makers, the three-day event promises to be a veritable showcase of one-of-a-kind creators.
    • Sep 21, 2021