Danny Lyon: Message to the Future

Solo en Inglès

Listen to commentary from scholars Elisabeth Sussman, Todd Gitlin, Julian Cox, and artist Danny Lyon on selected works in the exhibition Danny Lyon: Message to the Future.


Danny Lyon (b. 1942), Haiti, 1987. Gelatin silver prints montage. 22 7/8 x 22 7/8 in. (58.2 x 58.2 cm). Collection of the artist. © Danny Lyon, courtesy Edwynn Houk Gallery, New York

Narrator: Lyon made the twenty-five images in this montage while in Haiti, over the course of two years. He’s pasted a self-portrait in the center.  

Julian Cox: It blends the moments of high drama and the everyday activities of the people of Haiti trying to go about their normal lives at a moment of significant transition. This has always been part of Danny Lyon's approach, a desire to capture the pulse of everyday people. Those people who are on the margins of society or oppressed or disenfranchised in some way and bring their story into the center of his universe through the medium of photography. 

Lyon is an artist who cares about personal freedom and liberty, which is why one frame to the left of his self portrait in this montage from Haiti, we see a picture of a young girl wandering down a street with the words "Liberté, egalité, fraternité" written on the wall. These are the founding principles of democracy and concepts that sit at the very core of Lyon's approach to the medium of photography and how it can be used.