• Reviews

    Latin Explosion

    Timothy Greenfield-Sanders at the Brooklyn Museum Through December 11

    Timothy Greenfield-Sanders, Eva Longoria, 2011, pigmented ink-jet print, 58" x 44" framed.

    BROOKLYN MUSEUM

    Installed in this venerable museum’s Great Hall are 25 large-format pigmented ink-jet prints, collectively titled “The Latino List.” Timothy Greenfield-Sanders is recognized for his frontal photographic portraits of prominent figures, including supermodels and porn stars, as well as for films, such as his documentary on the musician Lou Reed. He also shoots for Vanity Fair. For this thoughtful exhibition, Greenfield-Sanders photographed successful Latino men and women from the torso up and set them against seamless gray backgrounds. The grouping here includes well-known activists, actresses, politicians, businesspeople, music-industry stars, TV and radio personalities, a golfer, and a rapper. At 58 by 44 inches, the portraits make their larger-than-life subjects appear notable yet also human. We can admire these influential, well-dressed people and, at the same time, gaze at their stubble, creases, and contact lenses.

    Presented beneath each portrait is a brief curriculum vitae of the subject, listing accomplishments, current and past positions held, and some personal facts. José Moreno Hernández, for example, is not only a NASA engineer but also holds the quaint distinction of being the first person in space to tweet in Spanish. Gloria Estefan is hung next to the portrait of her music-producer husband, Emilio. Associate Justice of the Supreme Court Sonia Sotomayor, soldier Consuelo Castillo Kickbusch, and ACLU executive director Anthony D. Romero are also among the luminaries showcased here. Most subjects wear deadpan expressions or slight smirks. Hands and arms are held in a variety of often expressive positions—arms akimbo or behind the back, palms touching as if prayerfully, or hands clasped confidently yet tentatively. An accompanying montage of the HBO film of the same name, also by Greenfield-Sanders, on view in the gallery, offers bon mots from the subjects as well as moving personal anecdotes on what it means to be a 21st-century Latino.

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