Photo class investigats subcultures through art

By Megan Kawasaki

Large clusters of photo prints were pinned onto the walls of Feldman-Horn Gallery for “(sub)culture,” an art show put on by students in Kevin O’Malley’s Photography III Class.

Each of the 11 students in the class photographed distinct groups of people to depict subcultures such as school clubs and families.

“It’s an assignment that I’ve given over the years, but I’ve never done a combination where they have to do a subculture on campus and off campus,” O’Malley said.

Simone Bookman ’12 photographed the subculture of student musicians, a choice inspired by her own interests in music.

Seeing the musicians with their instruments revealed them in a different light than seeing them casually around campus, she said.

“I took many pictures of Justin [Sohn ’12] and he just looked so different in them,” Bookman said. “I didn’t just see a person who inhabits the same campus as me. I saw part of who Justin really is. As a photographer, it was cool to be able to bring something out of people that I don’t really see. I don’t think I’d ever done that before.”

O’Malley said he was impressed by the range of subjects that were chosen.

He believes that not showing his students a lecture by the late professional photographer Diane Arbus gave the students more freedom creatively with their projects, since they didn’t feel tied to a particular example.

“I think it worked better this way,” O’Malley said, “It was a really nice mix.”