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Contemporary Photography from Private Collection at the Center

The Center for Creative Photography’s upcoming exhibition Oh l’amour: Contemporary Photography from the Stéphane Janssen Collection, will be on view at the Center for Creative Photography from November 22, 2008, to March 1, 2009.

Love—l’amour—is one of art’s enduring themes, inspiring collectors as well as creators. Stéphane Janssen, Belgian by birth and resident in Arizona, discovered a love of art in his teenage years. He went on to assemble an extensive and entirely unique collection including almost every creative medium: painting, ceramics, photography, and more. For this exhibition, Janssen generously shares a group of contemporary photographs that reflect his vision as a patron.

“The Center for Creative Photography is pleased to have this opportunity to display contemporary photography as part of our mission to represent all aspects of the medium and its history,” said Britt Salvesen, Director and Chief Curator for the Center. Combining elements of fantasy and physicality, exuberance and emotion, these photographs depict love in myriad forms and guises. Although this theme has not been a literal one guiding the collector’s intent, it effectively captures the affirmative aspects of his patronage.
Janssen discovered his vocation at age sixteen, when he purchased a small painting by Spanish artist Oscar Dominguez. Photography became a special interest in around 1993. Among the 32 international artists included in Oh l’amour are: Gregory Crewdson, Anthony Goicolea, Zhang Huan, Philip-Lorca diCorcia, Sally Mann, Vik Muniz, Pierre et Gilles, Spencer Tunick, Hellen van Meene, Charles White, and Joel-Peter Witkin. The exhibition totals 52 works, ranging in size from 6 x 6 inches to 72 x 97 inches. Visitors are advised that some artworks include nude imagery and potentially challenging content.

Janssen has acquired selected earlier examples along with new work by leading and emerging artists. A staged image of David and Goliath, made by George Platt Lynes in 1937, makes a perfect comparison with Charlie White’s Champion, a large-scale vision of the same theme made in 2005. Several artists in the Janssen Collection are also represented in the CCP’s permanent collection and have appeared in previous exhibitions here: Duane Michals, Vik Muniz, and Arthur Tress, among others. Janssen’s dedication to supporting individual artists over many years is in keeping with the CCP’s archival mission. In both collections, the breadth of an artist’s body of work is as important as the exceptional pieces that become well known.

Opening Reception and Discussion

Collector Stéphane Janssen, artist Spencer Tunick, and freelance curator and arts writer Marilyn Zeitlin will discuss the collaborative aspects of collecting and creating art in the contemporary context.
Friday, November 21, 2008
Reception at 5 p.m., discussion at 6 p.m.

Film Screening

Worst Possible Illusion: The Curiosity Cabinet of Vik Muniz
Filmed in Tucson, this intimate look at Vik Muniz and his work was produced and directed by Anne-Marie Russell, Executive Director and Chief Curator, Museum of Contemporary Art, Tucson. Russell will introduce the film.
Thursday, January 29, 2009
5:30 p.m.


Charlie White: Violence, Desires, and Social Anxieties
Through a process that entails creating characters, casting actors, and building sets to construct scenes both disturbing and familiar, artist Charlie White dissects the violence, desires, and social anxieties that trouble the American collective unconscious.
Thursday, February 5, 2009
5:30 p.m.


Release date: 
Friday, October 31, 2008