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Parrish Art Museum Screening Robert Frank Documentary

Julia Braat

The Parrish Art Don't Blink: Robert Frank screening will include a Q & A with director Laura Israel. (Photo: www.facebook.com)

Don't miss an incredible opportunity to see Don't Blink: Robert Frank, an 82 minute documentary tracing the intimate life of the Swiss-born photographer. The screening will take place at the Parrish Art Museum in Water Mill on Friday, March 31 at 6 p.m.

"I have long been fascinated by Robert Frank's work," shared Corinne Erni, Parrish Art Museum Curator of Special Projects. "He wasn't afraid to push the boundaries as a photographer and filmmaker.

Robert Frank was born in 1947 in Zurich, Switzerland. He emigrated to the U.S. in 1947, and found work as a fashion photographer at Harper's Bazaar. Frank created numerous hand-bound books of photography, and several of his pieces have been showcased at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. In 1955, he was given a grant through the Guggenheim which allowed him to travel across the U.S. and create his most famous piece, The Americans.

Frank's controversial themes and subject matter helped change the course of the twentieth-century photography world. The Americans, published in 1958 by Grove Press, is a truly unique compilation of photographs he took on his cross-country trip as he captured images of iconic cars, parades, jukeboxes, and diners. He was able to relay underlying presences of racism, consumer culture, and political malaise in his photographs.

"Robert Frank is gloriously notorious," said Courtney Reid-Eaton of the Full Frame Documentary Festival. "He is the groundbreaking photographer of The Americans; the iconoclastic director of Pull My Daisy and Cocksucker Blues; a difficult (almost impossible) interview subject; a rejecter of wealth and celebrity; a man whose 'sympathies were with people who struggled,' who has a 'mistrust of people who made the rules.'"

In this extraordinary documentary, Robert Frank provides an in-depth, rare look into his life. His close friend and editor since the late 80s, Laura Israel - who directed the film, wanted to create a show that would mimic Frank's roaming and free-willed nature.

"I think it reflects Robert's life to have the film unfold and build upon itself," Israel explained. "The film travels from one scene to the next ... it takes detours back and forth between various subjects-like Robert's own body of work... it forces the viewer to become more involved."

Israel will attend the screening and host a Q & A following the viewing alongside Parrish Art Director Alex Bingham.

"His work is uncompromising; he cared about the art and the people he photographed, not about fame," added Erni. "His outsider view of American society is more relevant now than ever. I am very excited to present a rare glimpse of his life and work."

This rare behind the scenes look at Frank's background in photography includes insight into his involvement with the Beatles, Rolling Stones, and his personal relationship with wife June Leaf and the tragedy with his two children. Although not as popular, his work with cinematography in his film Pull My Daisy will be included in this show.

Tickets to Don't Blink: Robert Frank are $20 for the general public and $5 for members.

Parrish Art Museum is located at 279 Montauk Highway in Water Mill. For more information, call 631-283-2118 or visit www.parrishart.org.

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