Child: A Celebration
Inspired by the most fundamental period of life, photographers as far back as the medium’s beginnings have long sought to survey the uninhibited spirit of the youth. A new exhibition at Peter Fetterman Gallery in Santa Monica and entitled “Child: A Celebration” explores the rich history of photography through the images of children.
From Henry William Fox Talbot’s early portrait of his eldest daughter Ela to Sebastião Salgado’s portrait of children from the Mentawai islands, this theme transcends time and cultural boundaries. The show features a curated selection of works of the genre by Ruth Bernhard, Lola Alvarez Bravo, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Julia Margaret Cameron, Flor Garduño, Heinrich Kühn, Walter Rosenblum, Sebastião Salgado, William Henry Fox Talbot, Larry Towell, Arthur Tress, and more.
While the camera can direct one’s attention, the imagery says just as much about the artist, as it does the subject. Each photographer possesses a childlike curiosity that permeates through their respective oeuvres. There’s a delicate balance of appreciation for a time that once was, and nurturing admiration for what will become.
In photographing the children of today, soon to be the adults of tomorrow, we relish in a precious, yet fleeting visual representation of youth. The photographers offer their own interpretation of this unique moment in time through their own lived experiences. Photography has shown just how timeless the experience of the child is while reaffirming the importance of furthering the development of the next generation.