You can practically hear the film advancing
and bulb-popping of paparazzi when looking at "Celebrity
Moments: The Work of Daily News Photographer Richard Corkery,"
the latest exhibition of photographs in Long Island University’s
new Humanities Building Gallery.
The photos on display range from the blatantly exploitative (such
as shots of Barbara Bush dirty dancing at Club Sette VII and
18-year-old John F Kennedy Jr. falling to the ground after an
altercation with a photographer) to poignant shots of a retiring
Luciano Pavarotti dabbing his eyes on the Metropolitan Opera
House stage’s curtain as he leaves the stage for the last time;
Muhammad Ali and Michael J. Fox embracing at a Parkinson’s disease
research fundraiser; and a wistful Richard Nixon stirring his
cup of coffee in a Manhattan diner in 1980.
Corkery’s photos, which hang on a maze of suspended frosted glass
panels, reveal the photographer’s tenacity as much as other photographers’
shots of him at work, fearlessly lacing up skates to shoot Jessica
Lang at Rockefeller Center’s rink or allowing Tom Cruise, who
had become irritated by Corkery, to handle his camera and turn
the lens on him.
The most revealing aspect of the exhibition, however, are Corkery’s
captions, written with Paola Curcio-Kleinman, in which he explains,
with unflattering honesty, how the shots had come to be.
About JFK, Jr., flailing as he falls to the ground at the end
of a night celebrating his 18th birthday, Corkery says, "When
all was said and done, it might have been better for John to
pose rather than to be caught by me in this embarrassing situation."
At the Jan. 5 opening reception, Corkery’s publicist told GO
Brooklyn that the photojournalist is now assembling a book of
"Celebrity Moments" is on display though Jan. 27 at
the Humanities Building Gallery in Long Island University, at
the junction of Flatbush Avenue Extension and DeKalb Avenue in
Downtown Brooklyn. Gallery hours are Monday through Friday, from
9 am to 6 pm and weekends from 11 am to 5 pm. For information,
call (718) 488-1198.