January 11 – March 31, 2024
Before social media and the instant upload of images and information, the ability to craft a story, define a narrative was simpler. Time was malleable, able to help and hinder real time reporting. A delay in reporting could be helpful in creating distractions or competing news stories. In 1998, President Bill Clinton was embroiled in scandal and looking to change the story. A trip to China was planned to distract from real time reporting, and show the strength of the Clinton Presidency overseas.
Jeffrey Aaronson was given an assignment by a major publication to follow the press as they covered President Clinton’s 1998 overseas trip to China, tasked with photographing the press as they followed the president. His photo story was not the images we saw of the President meeting with world leaders, taking a trip on the Li River, or meeting with environmentalists. It was Aaronson’s view of the press coverage and the stagecraft of the trip that became the focus of his lens. His photographs from that trip become a tale of how to build a story within a story, working to contain the vision and perception of the strength and power of the presidency, showcase our stature across the world and redefine the past, while reinterpreting the present.
About Jeffrey Aaronson –
Jeffrey Aaronson was born in Hollywood and raised in southern California. He attended the University of California Santa Barbara and upon graduating moved to Aspen, Colorado where he purchased his first camera. Soon after he began photographing, Jeffrey met mentors, Ernst Haas and Franz Berko, both pioneers in the art of color photography, who supported and encouraged his passion.
Jeffrey’s photographic career began in world of magazines where he worked on assignment for numerous publications from Vanity Fair and TIME to Rolling Stone and The New York Times Magazine. In 2001 he chose a new direction, departing from the tradition of documentary work and moving to a more narrative and conceptually based approach. Since that transition, he has devoted all his energy to long-term personal art projects, which allow him to express a more private vision.
Aaronson’s work has been exhibited in the US, Europe and the Middle East and is represented in numerous private and public collections. In January 2011, Aaronson was recognized by the Forward Thinking Museum as Artist of the Year for his series, Borderland. In addition, Borderland was nominated for the Santa Fe Prize in 2008 as well as selected for Critical Mass’s Top 50. This same work was also included in a group exhibition, HomeLessHome, at the Museum on the Seam in Jerusalem. In 2011 his series Driving Desire was nominated for the Santa Fe Prize and in 2012, work from Driving Desire was exhibited at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art and purchased for their permanent collection.