In celebration of Leap Day—the best of all temporally related quadrennial celebrations—I thought it would be fun to take a photographic look at the “art of the leap.” (Don't worry, after the first one it's all primo stuff!)
I say "leap" you say "tumble"… tomato/t'ohmygoshIthinkIjustbrokesomething
But first, let’s take a moment to define what is, and what is, not a leap. For instance….
NOT a leap: George Zimbel – Marilyn Monroe, Looking Left
A sixteenth-hearted effort if I’ve ever seen one. Let someone else have the spotlight for once, Marilyn!
ALMOST a leap: Henry Horenstein – Miss Saturn, Outside Slipper Room, New York, NY 2008
Nice fake-out, Miss Saturn, but no matter how celestial your pose (and name) may be… your stance remains a tad too Earthbound for my taste!
Leap: Ruth Orkin - Boy Jumping Into Hudson River, 1948
Now THAT’S how it’s done, baybay!
Culturally, the French appear to be quite adept in their leaptitude, which is unmistakable in this duo of jump-themed pieces.
Yves Klein –Le Saut dans le vide, 1960
Henri Cartier-Bresson – Behind the Gare Saint-Lazare, 1932
Jaques-Henri Latrigue -- Bichonnade Leaping
Fear not, patriots, for while the French Leap does appear prominently in the photographic realm, we all know the Freedom Leap is equally entertaining.
Loomis Dean – Man Flying Off a Trampoline at Santa Monica Beach
Susan Burnstine – Jump
Dance is rife with leap photo-ops, and American modern dance queen, Martha Graham, shows up prominently in photography of the mid-20th century. Let’s combine the two, shall we?
Barbara Morgan – Graham Group, American Document, Sophie Maslow, Frieda Flier, Marjorie Mazia, (Starburst) 1938
Philippe Halsman - Merce Cunningham, leaping and Martha Graham, sitting
Apparently umbrellas play an integral part in the “leap shot,” as is evident in the following rainy day photos.
Richard Avedon – Homage to Munkasci, 1957
Ellitt Erwitt – Paris, 1989 (Tour Eiffel)
Like to see some of these works in person? Never purchased a work of fine art photography? Take the LEAP (see what I did there?!) and stop on in and visit me at the John Cleary Gallery. Happy Leap Day everyone… and don’t forget those umbrellas!
Artist: The Dave Clark Five / Album: Hits