Malanga “Souls” Photo Exhibit Opens at Menard

Last night, the Pierre Menard Gallery in Cambridge, MA, opened a truly impressive exhibition of Gerard Malanga’s photographs– black and white portraits of some of the most illustrious artists and literary figures of the last 40 years or so– Keith Richards, Pete Seeger, Allen Ginsberg, Patti Smith, Roman Polanski, John Ashberry,  and Larry Rivers–along with pictures of a few “unknowns.”

Andy Warhol

Knowing that Malanga, born in 1943, worked for seven years as Andy Warhol’s chief assistant and collaborator; that along with Warhol and John Wilcock he co-founded Interview Magazine; and that his photos have been commissioned by Elle, The New York Times Magazine, and Vanity Fair, one might expect these portraits to be glitzy, glam celebrity.

But Malanga is also a writer who has published 17 books of poetry.
And in this show, called “Souls,” in every photo, it is the poetic spirit–of both photographer and subject– that shines through.
Larry Rivers

Larry Rivers

The program notes declare that “Malanga’s proximity to the epicenter of a cultural and artistic revolution gained him unprecedent access” to his wide array of subjects.

And, clearly, his visual sense and technical skills are stellar.

But  to me, what stands out  is the mutuality in these photos– each snapped at a moment of seeming profound interpersonal understanding, of relationship, of trust between photographer and subject.

Most remarkable is  how the intimacy of these moments—some from more than 30 years ago– is shared with/deeply experienced  by the viewer.


At the Pierre Menard Gallery, 10 Arrow St. Cambridge, MA  through April 11, 2010

—Anita M. Harris

New Cambridge Observer is a publication of the Harris Communications Group of Cambridge, MA. We also publish HarrisCom Blog and Ithaca Diaries Blog.


1 comment for “Malanga “Souls” Photo Exhibit Opens at Menard

  1. admin
    March 13, 2010 at 5:37 pm

    I hope you’ll see the show!

What do you think?