Stephen Shore’s Retrospective at the MoMA is worth exploring for every photographer
A tangerine sunset casts a Texaco station in an eerie light in a middle-of-nowhere highway. Flashbulbs on a Rollei 35mm capture a grotesquely delicious image of an omelet, white toast, and a stark white glass of milk in what could be any diner in the United States. For the past five decades, Stephen Shore has captured an unflinching and unapologetic perspective of America. His work justified the mundane and changed the way the world saw photography. After his work hit the mainstream, the world suddenly saw that photographs of parking lots and the average citizen were not a waste of film, and they followed suite.
Stephen Shore was born in New York City in 1947, and began his life as a photographer very early, receiving his first Darkroom kit from an uncle at age 6. By 1958, he was given the book American Photographs by Walker Evans, and his life was forever changed. By the age of 14, Edward Steichen had purchased a handful of Shore’s prints, launching his prolific career. From 1965 – 1967, he joined Andy Warhol’s inner circle and spent the majority of his time documenting the unique group of artists. At age 24, Shore exhibited his first solo body of work at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, which just so happened to be the first solo exhibition of a living American photographer in history. The rest of Shore’s career was just as prolific as his beginnings, and he went on to create many masterful bodies of work.