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), Self-portrait, New Orleans, 1964. Gelatin silver print. 7 3/16 x 4 13/16 in.(18.2 x 12.2 cm). Collection of the artist. © Danny Lyon, courtesy Edwynn Houk Gallery, New York

Julian Cox: This self portrait made in New Orleans in 1964 was made when Lyon was just 22 years of age. 

Narrator: Julian Cox. 

Julian Cox: He's both revealing and concealing himself at the same time. The camera is held up to his face. Both his eyes are clearly visible.  He has a rather baleful introspective look on his face. This is a character who is both introverted and outgoing at the same time. Some of those conflicting elements of his personality, of his approach, are visible in this picture.

This self-portrait is made at a time of transition in his early career. Where he had already accomplished a great deal as a young man making these brave, courageous, and historically significant pictures of the Civil Rights Movement. Now he was beginning to turn a corner and think about how he could create a life for himself as an artist, using the medium of photography as his mode of expression.