I share our fascination with the photo booth but I’m not sure why. There’s something very attractive about the concept of inserting money, walking into a booth – which without a doubt feels like you are stepping into a parallel world – and then having a machine take your photograph. The full results aren’t known until the strip of 4-panel photos fall through the slot, which is perhaps part of the magic.
Hillhaven Lodge, by Brett Ratner (the director) is a collection of candid photo booth photos of celebrities that visited the director’s home and stopped to indulge themselves in a few minutes with Ratner’s very own photo booth machine.
But what interests me even more are the artists who have been intrigued by the photo booth, often interpreting it as a component of their art. I’ve started a bit of a collection myself.
Andy Warhol, Photobooth Self-Portrait (courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art)
Andy Warhol is usually the first who comes to mind but I was blown away by this photobooth image of Ansel Adams. Don’t you think the image is so telling of the artist?
Ansel Adams, Photobooth Self-Portrait (courtesy of Smithsonian Photography Initiative)
According to this NYT article, the International Center of Photography archives contains photobooth portraits of Luis Buñuel and Salvador Dalí. Both appear with their eyes closed because the surrealists believed that “the dream was the key to the unconscious.” Wow, how I would love to lay my eyes on those!