Two years ago, Stephen Shore’s photography papered the now-closed halls of MoMA for the artist’s first U.S. retrospective. I remember walking through a forest of hanging binders flipping through what felt like an attic of Americana. Pictures of glossy diner breakfasts, dusty roads, rowdy Warhol factory flashes, wildflowers and entangled lovers all stacked on top of one another as if they were coherent layers of earth. The well-received exhibition built a case for the visual diarist as a figure and the weight their gaze could carry. A born and bred New Yorker, Shore’s impressive oeuvre betrays a curiosity for, or perhaps an obsessive dedication to recording the chubby minutes of the in-between.
This impulse translates to Shore’s prolific Instagram account, which the artist has been maintaining for the better part of five years. Here, the public is invited to step into Shore’s shoes and sometimes his plate. His feed includes images of lush plains, matzo balls resting in dill weeds and New Year’s Eve trips to the Met Opera. Even in the gridlock of Instagram, Shore’s images resonate perhaps because of the tenderness they seem to carry, even in the sharpness of their corners.
In honor of Shore’s eponymous show at Sprüth Magers Los Angeles, which opened yesterday, we asked the photographer to share a little behind-the-scenes glimpse at the installation process and his return to the City of Angels, which he first captured fifty years ago for his now iconic series: Los Angeles, California, February 4, 1969 (coincidentally on view as part of the career-spanning exhibition).