(This is the first article from one of our reader/writers, Fred Bonilla)
I became aware of Brian Finke and his work in several fronts. As a customer of mine at K&M Camera in Tribeca, we spoke of his choice of subject matters (bodybuilders, high school football players and cheerleaders and such) that reflected a different look at aspects of everyday life, as well as happy hour talk of film versus digital (heâ€™s sticking with film for now.) and such.
Then, I noticed his work recently in a New Yorker article on a huge megachurch that is in the sleepy New England town I currently live in (New Milford, Ct.) So when heard of the release of his new book, Flight Attendants, and a gallery opening of work from the book at the ClampArt Gallery in Chelsea, I decided to check it out.
The work at Clampart and in the book shows a whimsical yet respectful look at the lives and times of these servants we often neglect (expect when they forget to bring us a pillow). Brian devoted 2 Â½ years and over 50 flights to accumulate this collection of images. While covering domestic attendants (Hooters Air is represented among others), Brian in the end went predominantly with international attendants from airlines like Cathay Pacific and Icelandic Air.
The results are vibrant, a bit humorous and yes, beautiful.
The book and exhibit have been well covered and reviewed in the press and on the web and reflects Brianâ€™s status as an artist above the up and coming label. Yet as I read one reviewer calling these current set of photographs â€œbanalâ€, I realized that some people just donâ€™t get it. Whether the subject matter is flight attendants, football players or, in the case of a customer of mineâ€™s new work, shoe repairmen (cobblers, for those who remember), seeing the profound beauty in the everyday is not only worthy, but can be a joy to behold. Check out Brianâ€™s exhibit and his work to see what I mean.
The book is published by powerhouse Books, Brooklyn, N.Y.
For comments and correspondence, you can contact me at