"You take a canvas, divide it up like a checkerboard... and go from there." - Man Ray

Tina Barney: Speaking of Art
Tina Barney: Speaking of Art
About the film

Since 1975 Tina Barney has been producing large-scale photographs of family and friends. Her meticulous tableaux chronicle the complexity of interpersonal relationships. These lush color prints have been exhibited and collected by major institutions around the world from MoMA to The National Gallery, London. Barney has been the recipient of a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship in 1991, and the 2010 Lucie Award for Achievement in Portraiture. In 2004 Barney selected work from two of her monographs Theatre of Manners and The Europeans to present in a lecture, which Checkerboard had the privilege of filming.

With her unique sense of wit and humor, she recounts her photographic evolution – from her introduction to the work of Toulouse Lautrec as a young girl in Paris to her eight-year tour creating portraits throughout Europe. Barney did not begin making photographs until she was 30 and living in Sun Valley, Idaho. There, she quickly identified her interest in the East Coast world she had left behind. Returning to Rhode Island and New York, she started photographing her own family and friends, choreographing photographs and utilizing architectural divides employed by early Italian Renaissance painters and those of the Dutch Golden Age. This 55-minute visual journey, offers a comprehensive and enlightening look at the work of one of America’s preeminent photographers.

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