“I find photography a most mysterious process—capturing that moment in time and space, elusive and fleeting, and crystallizing it. You have made a photograph. It is its own thing now. To me, that is thrilling.”
Actress Jessica Lange’s career spans more than 30 years and 30 films; the winner of two Academy awards, the one-time waitress is one of the most acclaimed performers of both the screen and the stage, as well as one of the most recognizable faces. 50 Photographs, however, finds Lange on the other side of the camera.
Originally drawn to the medium simply as a way to document the lives and growth of her children, Lange has now been photographing on and off for 15 years, approaching the art as an antidote to the constant fervor of Hollywood. “It is a way of working,” she says of her process, “that is the opposite of acting. Photography doesn’t depend on collaboration; it can be solitary and private.” A 2007 feature in Aperture, introduced by Mary Ellen Mark, gave the world its first taste of Lange’s visual work; now, 50 Photographs gathers her impressive portfolio, featuring images from Mexico, Africa, Romania, Russia, Finland, Italy, and France as well as the U.S., into her first-ever photography monograph. Alternately comforting and disquieting, Lange’s striking black-and-whites possess a kind of moody mystery that is appropriately cinematic.