Steel Stillman at Show Room Gallery is the Daily Pic by Blake Gopnik

The Daily Pic: Why an artist has blacked out his own photographs.

(Courtesy Steel Stillman and Show Room, New York)

Steel Stillman is showing this image in a group exhibition at Show Room gallery in New York. For decades, he’s been shooting photos of random corners of his world, without any clear idea of what he would do with them. Now it seems he’s found out: Stillman has taken to crudely blacking out one feature of each image, leaving it poised on the brink of illegibility. Here, he’s blackened the drapery from one corner of a four-poster bed. We’ve become so used to redaction as a bureaucratic intrusion on truth-telling that it’s hard to know what to do when an artist censors himself. Maybe, in a world that seems to be drowning in photos, Steelman is mounting some quiet resistance to so much easy vision.

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